State Rep. David Bowen, D-Milwaukee, said the proposals from the Speaker’s Task Force on Racial Disparities create “guardrails around reform.” You can read about his behavior relating to the vicious attack on two police officers at their own home here.
(The Center Square) – One of the most prominent voices for police reform in Wisconsin over the past year – who was at the scene of the beating of two police officers at their own home – is now denouncing the police reform legislation making its way through the Wisconsin Capitol.
He is not alone. Activists from Milwaukee and Madison said pretty much the same thing Thursday.
“While most of the bills presented today are not offensive on their face and some would work to codify certain good practices that are already happening in many jurisdictions, they very clearly do not go far enough, and do not rise to the moment or advance the kind of justice reforms that have been demanded of us,” Bowen said. Bowen was not charged in the attack on the two police officers, in which a gun was discharged near them, but he refused to cooperate with police in the felony investigation and was at the scene, video shows.
Vaun Mayes wants a statewide ban on chokeholds, and wants lawmakers to order police officers out of schools. (Read about Mayes’ pending federal charges for an alleged police precinct firebombing plot here.)
“Most of those demands are not on the table, not being spoken about and not being taken seriously,” activist Vaun Mayes said after the reforms cleared an Assembly committee Thursday. “That is a problem.”
Rep. Jim Steineke, R-Kaukauna, who led the Task Force, says the reforms on the table are not perfect, but he said they are a start.
Bowen said the reform proposals on both issues “don’t really do anything.”
“I sincerely hope that the Committee takes its time with these bills and allows myself and others to work on amendment language that would not only enhance bipartisan consensus around these reforms, but also incorporate the concerns and desires of grassroots community members,” Bowen added.
Bowen wants lawmakers to start over.
Wisconsin lawmakers are focused on criminal justice reform this spring. The legislation from the Speaker’s Task Force is just part of the effort to update the rules for police officers. The Wisconsin Senate is moving ahead with its own set of proposals. In all, Republicans say they could have 15 police reform plans for the governor to sign by the end of June.