Local man understands pain of Ferguson, MO

CREATED Aug 18, 2014

  • Print
  • FERGUSON, MO - AUGUST 17: Lesley McSpadden (L) and Michael Brown, the parents of slain 18-year-old Michael Brown, acknowledge a crowd during an event at the Greater Grace Church on August 17, 2014 in Ferguson, Missouri. The event was lead by the Rev. Al Sharpton in support of justice for Michael Brown who was killed by police on August 9th. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images) Image by Getty Images

KENOSHA -- A man who lost his son at the hands of a police officer in Kenosha ten years ago is now speaking out about the situation in Missouri, where a yong man was shot by police while walking down the street. 

 
Michael Bell says the reaction of the two communities is very different. 
 
"We didn't burn anything in Kenosha," he said, "but we had rallies questioning how a police officer could shoot someone, then investigate themselves."
 
Those rallies - and a long legal fight - led to a new state law requiring outside agencies to investigate officer shootings. He says the police in Ferguson need to do the same. 
 
"[Police in Ferguson] need to remove themselves from the picture. If you're a law enforcement person and you shoot somebody - or there's a loss of life on your watch - you can't investigate yourself."
 
The law Bell helped institute in Wisconsin is getting more attention thanks to the outrage in Ferguson - but also because of a recent officer-involved shooting in Red Arrow park in Milwaukee. Bell says it's too early to see if the law is making a difference in that case, but he is concerned by some details. 
 
"It was my understanding that there were upwards of 65 witnesses - and almost all of them were questioned by the Milwaukee Police Department."
 
Bell says he hopes cooler heads prevail in Ferguson - and the investigations into officer-involved shootings here bring accountability to police forces, and confidence for the public.