BROWN DEER, WI (WTAQ) - Brown Deer Police went to the home of salon gunman Radcliffe Haughton 20 times over the last decade to investigate domestic spats between him and his wife.
But not once did they make an arrest – even though state law requires an arrest in most domestic calls.
Radcliffe Haughton was arrested October 4th for slashing car tires on the vehicle of his estranged wife Zina. 12 days later, she told a judge she feared for her life. And a restraining order was issued, three days before Radcliffe violated it and killed Zina, two other women, and himself. Four other women were wounded.
There’s been a lot of second-guessing about the actions of Brown Deer Police. Most criticism was about an incident last year in which officers thought they saw Radcliffe hold a gun to his wife during a standoff – and they still left without making an arrest because they were not sure.
Prosecutors later filed a disorderly conduct charge, but it was dropped after a police officer failed to testify.
Brown Deer Village President Carl Krueger says his Fire and Police-Commission will investigate the standoff – but he doesn’t want to second-guess what the officers did or didn’t do. He said the village feels bad for the victims, but the standoff could not have been prevented unless, “We take up a policy of tear-gassing every house where a guy says he will not come out.”
Brown Deer’s police chief also said Zina refused to cooperate with officers. But domestic violence advocates say the police should have followed the law, and made an arrest.