In response to the U.S. Department of Justice’s announcement that it will launch a collaborative reform initiative with the Milwaukee Police Department, Congresswoman Gwen Moore (WI-04) released the following statement:
"I am encouraged by Milwaukee Police Chief Edward Flynn’s decision to request this investigation, and I am hopeful that the recommendations made by the U.S. Department of Justice will help the Milwaukee Police Department better serve our community. Given the number of high profile incidences in my district, including the deaths of Dontre Hamilton and Derek Williams, change in our current system is long overdue. We must do everything we can to strengthen the relationship between the citizens of Milwaukee and those who have sworn to protect them.
"However, I remain deeply concerned about allegations of racial profiling and ‘stop and frisk’ style policies that I fear are deeply imbedded in our current policing strategy. While this Office of Community Oriented Policing Services review represents a promising step forward, it does not involve the type of in-depth legal investigation I have called for through the U.S. Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division. In the past, I have advocated for a full ‘pattern and practice’ review of the Milwaukee Police Department to broker the change many of my constituents feel is needed.
"As this review moves forward, I urge the U.S. Department of Justice to ensure that this process is conducted in an open and transparent manner. In addition, I firmly believe that we must continue to keep all options – including a full pattern and practice investigation – on the table in our shared goal of enhancing public safety and defending the civil rights of all citizens."