Witness videos of Appleton officer-involved shooting shared on social media
APPLETON, Wis. (WBAY) - The Wisconsin Department of Justice continues to investigate an officer-involved shooting from last Friday in Appleton. Action 2 News first reported, the man, who was armed with a handgun, was shot by officers after they were called to the 1500 block of N. Birchwood Avenue for a domestic dispute.
While investigators continue their work, several videos, recorded by witnesses, have been posted to social media.
Standard practice, following any officer involved shooting, is to bring in an outside agency to investigate. In the case of last Friday’s incident on N. Birchwood Avenue, the Wisconsin Department of Justice, Division of Criminal Investigation has been tasked with reviewing the evidence and determining the facts of the case.
Shortly after the shooting, Joe Delano, who lives near Birchwood Avenue started receiving videos from the scene. While he realizes the videos don’t tell the entire story, he still felt it was necessary to post them to social media -- with no intention to shame or blame the police for what happened.
According to Delano, “When something like that happens, I personally feel everyone should know look how this happened, let’s learn from this, let’s turn it around, let’s be better next time. Hopefully there’s never a next time, that would be, that’s the ultimate goal but you’re gonna have eventually so let’s learn from this interaction here.”
Internet and security expert, Curt Esser, understands how these types of videos can be used as learning tools. But, he warns, people shouldn’t jump to conclusions just based off of just what they see. Events like the shooting in Appleton are complex and there are many factors, not visible by the casual observer that need to be considered.
“What we need to understand is that what we see and what’s going on may not be the full picture. We have to understand, we have to get all the facts and everything involved and that’s the biggest thing that’s hard to do. When you see something like this, you think, oh I’ve got everything. No, there’s a lot more to it and that’s why the investigation and everything else has to be done,” says Esser.
Neither the State Department of Justice nor the Appleton Police Department would comment on the videos, telling Action 2 News they don’t comment on ongoing investigations.
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