In response to concerns over Milwaukee Police procedures in the wake of the officer-involved shooting that claimed the life of Dontre Hamilton, Congresswoman Gwen Moore (WI-04) sent the following letter to the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) Civil Rights Division:
The Honorable James Santelle
United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Wisconsin
U.S. Attorney’s Office
530 Federal Building, 517 East Wisconsin Ave.
Milwaukee, WI 53202-4500
Re: U.S. Justice Department Review of Milwaukee Police Procedures
Dear Mr. Santelle,
I write to thank you for your decision to conduct an investigation of the officer-involved shooting death of Dontre Hamilton to determine if violations of federal civil rights law occurred. I would also urge the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) Civil Rights Division to simultaneously conduct a "pattern and practice" investigation of the Milwaukee Police Department.
A thorough investigation of the Milwaukee Police Department would serve justice by ensuring that public faith is restored. I continue to speak to my constituents who are fearful and distrustful of the police and the criminal justice system following local, high profile cases, like the death of Derek Williams and the use of body cavity searches by Milwaukee police officers. Unfortunately, Milwaukee continues to see these incidents, which, along with national trends and incidents, are feeding the collective distrust between officers and citizens in Milwaukee. The implementation of policing best practices in Milwaukee would better protect both police and citizens.
Police have a difficult responsibility, and I think that they deserve the best, most modern training. It is my hope that a review would help the process of community healing, so that citizens and police can build a constructive relationship going forward to address crime collectively. Thank you again for your assistance in this matter, and I look forward to working with you going forward.
Gwen S. Moore (WI-4)
MEMBER OF CONGRESS