Lawmakers sound off on police reform package

Published: Jun. 21, 2020 at 4:11 PM CDT
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State lawmakers on both sides of the aisle are now weighing in on a police reform package proposed by Governor Tony Evers.

We first told you on Friday that Gov. Evers and Lt. Governor Mandela Barnes called on lawmakers to take up a series of reforms, but didn't call a special session.

The legislation would create:

- Statewide standards for use-of-force as a last resort

- Require officers to complete annual training on de-escalation

- Start a $1 million grant program for community organizations

- Ban choke holds and no-knock warrants

- Require state and local databases on use-of-force incidents

Sunday on UpFront, Rep. Lakeshia Meyers (D- Milwaukee), the Chair of the Legislative Black Caucus called the proposals a "great start", but says not having a special session might be for the best.

"I would rather us not go into something forced or into a situation where we were not going to get all we deserved for the people. I want us to do the work and not just throw something together," said Meyers.

Rep. John Spiros (R-Marshfield), the Chairman of the Assembly's Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee, said he's hopeful there's a bipartisan way forward.

"I think the biggest thing is trust. From a legislative standpoint, I can't pass a law on trust. Trust has to be something from the community and from law enforcement, and for all of us to work together," said Spiros.

Governor Evers said he didn't call a special session because lawmakers could easily just gavel in and out without doing anything.

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