David Bowen
Press Release

State Rep. David Bowen & State Rep. Evan Goyke Call on the United States Department of Justice to Take Over the Investigation into the Shooting of Sylville Smith

“It is crucial that trust be restored to the relationship between the public and law enforcement,” said Rep. David Bowen

By - Aug 26th, 2016 01:47 pm

MILWAUKEE – Today State Representative David Bowen (D-Milwaukee) and State Representative Evan Goyke (D-Milwaukee) sent a letter to United States Attorney General Loretta Lynch requesting that the United States Department of Justice take over the pending investigation into the recent officer-involved shooting in Milwaukee of Mr. Sylville Smith.

“It is crucial that trust be restored to the relationship between the public and law enforcement,” said Rep. David Bowen, who grew up in the Sherman Park neighborhood. “It is difficult for the public to trust a process that has former MPD officers conducting an investigation into a Milwaukee police-involved shooting.”

“The public can be ensured of the integrity of this process with the double-check of the U.S. DOJ.,” said Bowen.

This week, Attorney General Schimel acknowledged investigators with the Wisconsin DOJ who were formerly employed by the Milwaukee Police Department (MPD) are assigned to the investigation into the shooting death of Sylville Smith. The involvement of former employees of MPD poses a possible conflict of interest to this investigation.

“Last session I was proud to support legislation requiring that an investigation into an officer-involved shooting be conducted by an outside department,” said Rep. Evan Goyke.

“The intent of Wisconsin’s officer-involved shooting law is to prevent conflicts of interest from hindering a thorough investigation. After learning that former MPD officers are involved in the state-led investigation I feel a federally-led investigation is necessary in this instance to honor the true intent of the law. The United States Department of Justice is fully capable of conducting such an investigation and I have full confidence that their findings would be independent and without bias.”

A copy of the letter to the Attorney General is attached.

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