Bill Would Limit Police Chokeholds
But not a total ban. Bipartisan legislation supported by Sen. Lena Taylor.
The state Senate will start reviewing recommendations from a police reform task force Tuesday. Bills under consideration include community policing and stricter rules for fire and police commissions.
But a more controversial change to the use of chokeholds could be coming.
“What you see is our effort to try to bring all the different opinions together to try to do something in Wisconsin,” Taylor said. “It’s not the perfect, but I promise you it’s better than where we are.”
Taylor was joined at the virtual Press Club event by State Sen. Van Wanggaard, R-Racine. Wanggaard heads the Senate’s judiciary committee and has been working with the task force, which was created in the Assembly.
Some proposals, are similar to previous proposals from Gov. Tony Evers. Other plans, like the group’s recommendation to limit chokeholds, don’t go as far as Evers’ plan, which would ban chokeholds entirely.
Taylor told the Press Club she understands the concept of a full ban. In the state of Wisconsin, police departments don’t train their officers on chokeholds, Taylor said. Still, she doesn’t support a complete ban.
She said the state proposal will narrow the use of chokeholds to when an officers’ life is in danger.
“We are talking about what happens across the entire state,” Taylor said. “No one is going to be allowed to do that and get away with it and get a pass.”
Across the country, many communities have begun banning chokeholds.
“We have body cameras; we’re working on that so people have a view of what’s happening,” Wanggaard said. “If I’m going to use that chokehold, I have to be able to articulate why I did that and what those circumstances were.”
Taylor said she believes the bills will pass the Assembly and the Senate. She said when people actually read the bills, they are more supportive, and she believes Evers will sign most, if not all of them.
“I don’t know if the governor will be able to overcome a veto override if he were to veto them,” Taylor said.
Listen to the WPR report here.
Proposed Changes To Wisconsin Policing Laws Would Limit, Not Ban, Chokeholds was originally published by Wisconsin Public Radio.