NewsLocal News


Wisconsin state representative introduces 12 police reform bills

"This is our chance for transformation," said State Rep. David Bowen.
Posted at 5:22 PM, Jun 03, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-04 18:13:49-04

MADISON — State Rep. David Bowen introduced a dozen police reform bills in Madison on Thursday, saying bipartisan measures moving through the legislature do not go far enough.

Rep. Bowen of Milwaukee was joined by activists and some Democratic colleagues outside the State Capitol, where they detailed the "Enough is Enough Justice Reform Package."

"This is our chance for transformation. This is our chance to be able to significantly shift a number of different decisions and protocols," Rep. Bowen said.

The package includes proposals covering areas such as transparency, investigations into officer-involved deaths and prosecuting law enforcement.

One bill proposed law enforcement carry cards with the officer's name, contact information for their supervisor and resources to file a formal complaint.

Another bill proposed district attorneys turn over an officer-involved death investigation to a court-appointed special prosecutor for charging decisions and to prosecute those cases. Bowen said the point was to eliminate any perceived bias, considering district attorneys work closely with law enforcement daily.

Poster image - 2021-06-03T171613.153.jpg

The proposals came after the Task Force on Racial Disparities made up of lawmakers and community members introduced seven police reform bills that critics say do not go far enough to create change.

Rebecca Burrell from Milwaukee, who is on the task force, expressed the final recommendations fell short.

"My loyalty is with the community, with my family, with my child. I will not settle for nothing. I will not settle for scraps," Burrell said.

Poster image - 2021-06-03T171522.153.jpg

Rep. Bowen said he introduced these reform bills now because he wanted to let that task force work, adding it is time to build on that work and address the voices that were excluded.

TMJ4 News reached out to Republican State Rep. Jim Steineke, who co-chairs the task force for comment and has yet to hear back.

Read the police reform bills here:

Report a typo or error // Submit a news tip