Evers Signs Order Calling Special Legislative Session on Law Enforcement Accountability
Monday, August 24, 2020
In the wake of Sunday's shooting of a black man in Kenosha by a law enforcement officer, Gov. Tony Evers today signed an executive order calling the Legislature into special session at noon on Aug. 31 to pass law enforcement accountability and transparency reform measures.

Specifically, the order asks legislators to pass the following bill drafts:
  • LRB 6273/LRB 6424
    • Establishes statewide use of force standards for all law enforcement agencies and requires the Law Enforcement Standards Board to develop a model use of force policy for law enforcement agencies.
  • LRB 6274/LRB 6425:
    • Requires each law enforcement officer to annually complete at least eight hours of training on use of force options and de-escalation techniques.
    • Creates a $1,000,000 grant program, administered by the Department of Justice, to fund community organizations that are utilizing evidence-based outreach and violence interruption strategies to mediate conflicts, prevent retaliation and other potentially violent situations, and connect individuals to community supports.
  • LRB 6276/LRB 6427
    • Requires law enforcement agencies to develop policies prohibiting the use of chokeholds.
  • LRB 6277/LRB 6428:
    • Requires each law enforcement agency to not only prepare a policy regarding the use of force by its law enforcement officers, but to make it available publicly online.
  • LRB 6281/LRB 6429
    • Creates a civil cause of action for unnecessarily summoning a law enforcement officer with intent to infringe upon a right of the person under the Wisconsin Constitution or the U.S. Constitution; unlawfully discriminate against the person; cause the person to feel harassed, humiliated, or embarrassed; cause the person to be expelled from a place in which the person is lawfully located; damage the person's reputation or standing within the community; or damage the person's financial, economic, consumer, or business prospects or interests.
  • LRB 6283/LRB 6430
    • Requires that the Department of Justice publish an annual report on use of force incidents, including incidents where there was a shooting, where a firearm was discharged in the direction of a person (even if there was no injury), and where other serious bodily harm resulted from the incident; and
    • Requires certain demographic information to be collected about each incident and reported annually by DOJ on its website. 
  • LRB 6289/LRB 6431
    • Prohibits no-knock search warrants.
  • LRB 6292/LRB 6432:
    • Makes certain changes to the responsibilities of the Law Enforcement Standards Board (LESB), including requiring LESB to also regulate jail and juvenile detention officer training standards and regulate recruitment standards for the recruiting of new law enforcement, jail, and juvenile detention officers;
    • Requires each law enforcement agency to maintain an employment file for each employee; and
    • Requires each potential candidate for a position in an agency, jail, or facility that is or has been employed by a different agency, jail, or facility to authorize their previous employer to disclose his or her employment files to the hiring entity.

In June, Gov. Evers called for the Legislature to meet on the topic of police reforms and said he would issue an executive order if the Legislature failed to act this summer.

In related news, Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester) today announced that he will authorize the creation of a Speaker's task force focusing on racial disparities, educational opportunities, public safety and police policies and standards.  
 
Vos said this afternoon that he asked Gov. Evers to wait for reforms to come out of the recommendations of the task force, rather than through a special session of the Legislature. 
 
 
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