KENOSHA -- A local father demands a new investigation into his son’s death, after a report is released saying the Kenosha Justice System is corrupt.
That report is from an independent investigator, assigned by the Wisconsin Supreme Court. It details allegations of misconduct by former Kenosha District Attorney Robert Zapf.
It says he waited four months to tell anyone about a police officer who admitted to planting evidence during a 2014 murder case. By the time he told other district attorneys, the murder trial was already underway.
The report says corruption, lies, evidence planting, and deceit existed. It could lead to several criminal cases being reopened. One of those cases is from 2004.
Michael Bell, 21, was shot and killed by a Kenosha police officer after a struggle during a traffic stop. Toxicology reports show Bell had been drinking.
Two days after Bell was killed, Kenosha Police ruled that the shooting was justified.
Bell’s father - Michael Bell, Sr. - hired private investigators that say there are contradictions between forensic evidence and what police say happened. He handed out examples to Kenosha County supervisors Tuesday night.
“None of my son's fingerprints or DNA was on that gun or holster, that officers say he grabbed,” says Michael Bell, Sr. “That is the important part of the case that is being kept hidden.”
Bell pleased with Kenosha County supervisors to draft a resolution demanding that his son’s case be reopened and reviewed by the Kenosha County Sheriff’s Department.
“I want to know the truth about my son’s death,” he says. “We should be allowed an independent investigation. We should know the facts. This independent report proves what I’ve been saying for 13 years: there is a problem. There is a pattern of misconduct and dishonesty not only at the police officer level, but at the chief level, and other positions of authority.”
But Kenosha County Chairwoman Kimberly Breunig says this is not a matter for the county board to take-up.
“It’s not our place to get involved in this,” she says. “We set county policy. We don’t handle these kinds of matters. I would suggest that Mr. Bell petition the Department of Justice and maybe they can reopen it for him.”
Bell vows to get his son’s case reopened, no matter what it takes. He’s going to address the Kenosha Common Council on Wednesday night.