For more information contact:  Rep. Leon D. Young (608) 266-3786

Input from Community Stakeholders vital to Allaying Legitimate Concerns

MADISON – State Representative Leon D. Young (D-Milwaukee) has made a formal request to Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel urging his department to revisit the state’s standard for law enforcement officers’ use of deadly/lethal force.

According to Young, “the request was specifically made to the Department of Justice because it has direct oversight authority. More importantly, this department sets the training standards (including the justification for using lethal force) for all law enforcement agencies statewide.”

“In my opinion, the need for a statewide review of the lethal force standard is further justified by the conflicting legal opinions as expressed by Milwaukee Police Chief Edward Flynn and Milwaukee District Attorney John Chisholm, following the recent police officer acquittal.  After having reviewed the video footage of the Smith shooting, Chief Flynn opined that the officer acted within department policy, while DA Chisholm saw criminal culpability and sought a conviction.  If these two knowledgeable legal minds can’t agree on the appropriate use of deadly force, it behooves us to review this issue immediately, so that we are all on the same page,” Young asserted.

In addition, Young has requested that the Justice Department convene a public forum and solicit input from various community stakeholders (law enforcement, elected officials, religious leaders as well as community-based organizations) in an attempt to discover whether the current lethal force policy is appropriate and ensures everyone’s public safety.

Young closed by saying, “I believe that’s it’s imperative that we take steps to assure the general public that there is a clear and precise standard regarding the use of deadly force, and that all police departments are fully aware of this policy and adhere to it daily in performing their police work.”


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