Common Council asks Attorney General Sessions to expedite a review of Milwaukee Police Department

The review has lasted more than a year
Posted at 5:08 PM, Feb 28, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-28 19:42:00-05

Milwaukee Common Council members are seeking help from US Attorney General Jeff Sessions, asking him to expedite a justice department report reviewing the Milwaukee Police Department.

These efforts were launched in December 2015, after federal prosecutors decided against charging a former Milwaukee police officer with shooting and killing Dontre Hamilton. After waiting more than a year, council members are wondering what's going on.

"We all thought that the report would be made available in January, it is almost March and there is no report that has been made available and we don't even know when it will be made available," said Alderwoman Milele Coggs.

If it can't happen immediately, they want a date of when it will be released.

"It's critical for the community to see the level of transparency as policies and practices are examined by MPD," Coggs said.

The Department of Justice launched the review in December of 2015 at the request of Police Chief Ed Flynn. The DOJ held numerous listening sessions, hearing from hundreds of people and taking suggestions from the community. Council members don't want all that hard work to be in vain.

"I think citizens have every right to know what the review says whether it's good or bad," said 10th district Alderman Michael Murphy.

Mayor Tom Barrett said he's pleased council members want to get this information out.

"I'm looking forward very much to having that report released as well because we know there are places where we're doing a good job and we know there are places where there is a need for improvement so I think anytime you can have a fair thorough analysis of the department and have that released to the public, I think everybody benefits from that," Barrett said.

A justice department spokesperson did not return our request for comment. But the new attorney general Jeff Sessions said Tuesday his office would pull back on civil rights reviews of police departments. No word what that could mean for Milwaukee.

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