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Sister Bay Republican to unveil outside law enforcement investigation bill

MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - A state lawmaker plans to hold a news conference on Thursday to explain his bill to require outside law enforcement agencies to investigate officers who kill suspects.

Assembly Republican Garey Bies of Sister Bay unveiled his proposal a week ago. Starting on Thursday, he’ll give colleagues two weeks to sign onto the measure before introducing it.

Bies, a former chief sheriff’s deputy in Door County, said his bill would require outside agencies to investigate officers’ actions in the deaths of others. The bill would also make Wisconsin the first state to require a review by a panel of experts, when someone dies in a police confrontation.

Bies said he’s being motivated by three officer-involved deaths whose colleagues found them to be justified in killing suspects.

The deaths were those of robbery suspect Derek Williams in Milwaukee, drunk suspect Paul Heenan in Madison, and Michael Bell of Kenosha. Bies says he’s most concerned about larger police officers, like those involved in all three of the above cases.

State Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen and Milwaukee Police Chief Ed Flynn say they’ll review the measure, and provide input in the future.

David Kaminski of Rusk County, who heads the Badger State Sheriff’s Association, says the measure could benefit everybody if both officers and victims are protected in the process.