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R.L. McNeely is the chair of the Felmers O. Chaney Advocacy Board; Jenny Tasse is the director of the Milwaukee Jewish Community Relations Council; Holly Ryan is the president of the Ozaukee County Jail Literacy Program; and Fred Royal is the president of the Milwaukee chapter of the NAACP.
The Felmers O. Chaney Advocacy Board supports the peaceful protests occurring after the murder of George Floyd. We all need to work together for change to our laws and institutional policies.
These changes need to include, at a minimum, legislatively mandated community monitoring and oversight of the police in conjunction with the Milwaukee Fire and Police Commission. By “community” representation, we mean civilian representation based on legal and other expertise such as that possessed by local law professors, criminal justice professors, social welfare professionals and seasoned representatives of grassroots organizations.
We do not believe these representatives should be appointed by local or other political figures. Law enforcement’s qualified immunity should be abolished, and police officers need to be trained to deal with ambiguity. Among other requisites, we recommend the licensing of police, just like other professions, wherein a police officer’s license to practice can be revoked, that early warning systems to identify potentially troubled officers be made more effective, and we recommend that tenets of community policing be legislatively adopted.
We also recommend that all shooting and/or excessive force incidents be investigated by the Wisconsin Department of Justice and, to minimize the occurrence of potentially inflammatory events in the first place, that officers be required to issue Citizen Interaction Receipts whenever citizens are subjected to field interviews. The receipts should include the following information: (a) the name of the officer or squad who stopped the person or persons; (b) the name of the person or persons who were stopped; (c) the time the interaction occurred; (d) a brief description as to why the stop was made; if a pat-down search was done; (e) why it was done; (f) when it was done; and (g) who conducted it.
There are many recommendations FCAB could make. These are but a few. But they are a start.