Crime and Court Roundup: Racine sheriff's deputy injured in a hit-and-run crashWisconsin News
-- A 50-year-old woman has been charged in a drunken hit-and-run traffic crash that injured a Racine County sheriff’s deputy.
A 50-year-old woman has been charged in a drunken hit-and-run traffic crash that injured a Racine County sheriff’s deputy. Denise Olson of Mount Pleasant was charged yesterday with causing injury by drunk driving, felony hit-and-run, and driving after her license was revoked. The deputy suffered a head injury, and was treated at a hospital and later released. The officer said he was crossing a Racine intersection late Monday night when an S-U-V speeded toward him, made a sharp turn, hit his squad car, and drove away. Prosecutors said the deputy was dizzy when he followed the woman’s S-U-V. It drove for about two-tenths-of-a-mile before the hood came up and the driver stopped. Olson escaped injury. Her bond was initially set at 25-hundred dollars.
All Wisconsin police officers would be better trained and more accountable under a bill to be re-introduced in the state Legislature next year. Milwaukee Senate Democrat Lena Taylor and Assembly Republican Garey Bies of Sister Bay are revisiting the issue. That’s after a newly-released video showed that Milwaukee police officers ignored pleas for help by a robbery suspect who struggled to breathe for almost eight minutes before dying in police custody. The cause of Derek Williams’ death was changed this week from natural causes to homicide, after the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel published the video on Sunday. Now, Taylor and Bies are reviving a bill that failed to pass in 2009. It would require officers to be trained in health conditions and cultural differences that can affect officers’ procedures for pursuing and arresting suspects. A state board would set the standards. Taylor said the state’s largest police union supported the measure three years ago, but former Senate Democratic leader Russ Decker blocked a full vote. Taylor said officers need to be better trained in what she called “cultural competency.” She says it’s a key to improving relations between Milwaukee Police and the community. Bies, a Door County sheriff’s deputy for three decades, said police chiefs are responsible for installing proper attitudes in officers. But lawmakers have been hesitant to tell police what to do. In 2008, a bill to require Wisconsin officer candidates to have psychological exams went nowhere. It was one of several measures proposed by relatives of six people killed in Crandon in 2007 by 20-year-old officer Tyler Peterson. He never had a psychological exam. And Peterson killed himself a day after the slayings, which occurred after his girlfriend had jilted him.
An 18-year-old Menasha woman will spend two years on probation for seriously injuring two other teens with her car last year. Prosecutors said all three females made derogatory comments on Facebook. And they resulted in physical altercations for several days before Ashli Lindvig struck Killie Navarre and Brittany Kinnard with her vehicle in March. As part of her probation, Lindvig must perform 100 hours of community service. If she successfully completes the probation, she’ll have a chance to have her criminal record expunged. Lindvig struck a plea deal with Winnebago County prosecutors in which she pleaded no contest to substantial battery and negligent operation of a dangerous weapon – that being her vehicle. She apologized to the other teens during her sentencing yesterday. Circuit Judge Karen Seifert said Lindvig should perform her community service with the Oshkosh Civility Project. The judge said society has lost some of its civility, due in part to the type of venting the teens made on Facebook before they started fighting each other.
The show will not go on for state prisoners in Racine County. The Corrections Department has said no to restarting a program called “Shakespeare Behind Bars,” which ran for four years until the warden scrapped it in 2009 due to security issues. U-W Parkside communications’ instructor Jonathon Shailor started the Shakespeare prison program in 2004, with the idea that it would reduce the chances of criminals re-offending. Forty-four inmates produced and performed plays for their fellow prisoners and the public before the Racine warden darkened the stage. Wisconsin Public Radio said Shailor wanted to re-start the program, but corrections’ officials refused to allow it. Corrections’ spokesman Tim LeMonds says there’s no evidence that the program helps inmates re-integrate into society. But Shailor disagrees. He said a similar program in Kentucky dramatically reduced the numbers of re-offenders – and he cited a half-dozen inmates who performed in the Racine program who are now in college or working. Shailor started an online petition last week to restart the program – and it led to a glut of e-mails to state officials in support.