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Politics & Government

Evers Calls Special Session On Police Reform

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Gov. Tony Evers announces a special session on police reform bills following the police shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha.

Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers responded to the Kenosha police shooting of Jacob Blake by calling a special session on police reform, set to begin Aug. 31. 

Evers wants the legislature to take up a package of police accountability bills that he first introduced in June. At that time, Republican leaders in the legislature did not take action.

“I’m urging Republican leadership to rise to this important moment in history,” Evers says. “To put people before politics and to put lives of Black Wisconsinites above politics. And to give this special session the urgent and productive effort this moment demands.”

The bills would enact changes such as a ban on chokeholds and no-knock warrants and increase transparency about how often police use force.

Lt. Gov Mandela Barnes says the bills would be a “first step.” He and Evers condemned the police shooting of Jacob Blake — who is now being treated for his injuries at a hospital.

“This felt like some sort of vendetta being taken out on a member of our community,” Barnes says.

Republican legislative leaders don’t seem receptive to the special session. Assembly Speaker Robin Vos tweeted, “the governor is choosing to turn to politics again by dictating liberal policies that will only deepen the divisions in our state.”

Vos says he would convene a special task force to study racial disparities.

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