Wisconsin DOJ Issues First-Ever Protocol for Investigating Officer-Involved Shootings

In 2013, Wisconsin became the first state to require that an investigation into an officer-involved shooting or other fatality be conducted by an outside investigator. It also required that the investigation be submitted directly to the District Attorney, and that, if no prosecution was sought, that the report then be released to the public. Needless to say, some departments, like Milwaukee, were real happy with the idea, to the point of issuing guidelines on how the outside investigator would submit their report to the chief and the chief would decide what to release.

Now the Wisconsin Department of Justice has published guidelines that their investigators will follow when conducting such an investigation. One of the notable changes is that officers will no longer be allowed to review any video before making their statement. This has long been the case for civilian witnesses, but officers were always allowed to view the video first. It will only be allowed now if the prosecutor agrees and it is the only way that the involved officer will speak to the investigator.

Naturally, the guys at PoliceOne are up in arms about not being able to watch the video.