Ald. Khalif Rainey
Press Release

Legislation to be heard relating to medical reports of persons killed/injured in officer involved incidents

Statement of Alderman Khalif J. Rainey October 13, 2020

By - Oct 13th, 2020 10:45 am

I have sponsored legislation directing the Intergovernmental Relations Division of the Department of Administration to urge the state Legislature to amend s. 175.47 Wis. Stats to say that the official medical report that determines the cause of death of a person in an officer-involved incident be the report commissioned by the victim’s family.

The legislation – Common Council file #200309 – is scheduled to be heard by the Judiciary and Legislation Committee on Monday, October 26th during a virtual meeting. The October 26th meeting will start at 9 a.m. and will be televised live on the City Channel (channel 25 on Spectrum Cable and channel 99 on AT&T U-Verse in the City of Milwaukee) and via streaming video on the city website at city.milwaukee.gov/Channel25.

Co-sponsors on the legislation are Alderman Russell W. Stamper, II, Alderwoman Milele A. Coggs, Alderwoman Nikiya Dodd, Alderwoman Chantia Lewis, and Alderman Ashanti Hamilton.

The cause of death of a person in an officer-involved incident is typically determined by a coroner or medical examiner, who examines the cause of death and whether the police officer is responsible for the actions he or she caused, what disciplinary actions need to be taken, and then submits findings in criminal and civil proceedings.

When discrepancies arise between the report and the account of what occurred, the families of the victims often seek out second opinions on the cause of death. These disparities between the coroner and the second opinion can make us question the accuracy and legitimacy of the findings.

With the recent officer-involved death of George Floyd in Minneapolis and that of Joel Acevedo in Milwaukee, as well as the officer-involved incident with Jacob Blake in Kenosha, I am strongly urging the Legislature to make these necessary changes to bring justice to the victims’ families and greater transparency and accountability to law enforcement officers.

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