Supervisor Khalif Rainey Expresses Outrage Over bill To Allow MPD To Conduct Its Own Investigations When Prisoners Die in Their Custody
Rainey said it was “outrageous” that under the bill other police departments would be investigated by the state Department of Justice or an agency outside the county in case of prisoner deaths.
Milwaukee County Supervisor Khalif Rainey today expressed outrage over a bill currently under consideration in the Legislature that would allow the Milwaukee Police Department to conduct its own investigations when prisoners die in their custody, saying the bill could “reduce accountability in cases of prisoner deaths while in MPD custody.”
“I agree with Rep. Fred Kessler, of Milwaukee, who said that an outside presence in such investigations is ‘absolutely essential,’” Rainey said. “To allow the Milwaukee Police Department to investigate itself when a prisoner dies in its custody is like the fox guarding the henhouse. We need to stop this bill before it becomes law.”
Rainey said it was “outrageous” that under the bill other police departments would be investigated by the state Department of Justice or an agency outside the county in case of prisoner deaths. Under the bill, the Milwaukee Police Department would be allowed to investigate itself in cases where a prisoner dies in their custody.
“Once again Milwaukee is being singled out by the Legislature,” Rainey said. “Why does it make sense to exempt the Milwaukee Police Department and allow it to investigate itself while other departments around the state would be investigated by outside agencies?”
Rainey said the bill was an insult to the memory of Derek Williams, who died in Milwaukee Police Department custody in 2011.
“Derek Williams died in police custody and no one was held responsible for his death,” Rainey said. “It was no surprise that no one was found culpable. This bill is out of line with any notion of justice.”
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