Afternoon State News Briefs: Milwaukee officers investigated for illegal strip searchesWisconsin News
-- Two Milwaukee police officers who reportedly allowed a robbery suspect to collapse and die in their custody are also named in an investigation involving alleged illegal strip searches.
MILWAUKEE - Two Milwaukee police officers who reportedly allowed a robbery suspect to collapse and die in their custody are also named in an investigation involving alleged illegal strip searches.
The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reported this afternoon that Jeffrey Cline and Gregory Kuspa are named in both cases. The strip searches reportedly involved officers checking suspects’ cavities for hidden illegal drugs. That probe continues. The paper said Cline stood by while another officer conducted a strip search, about a week after Derek Williams’ death. Police and prosecutors have re-opened their investigations into the death of the 22-year-old Williams. He was a robbery suspect who lost consciousness and had trouble breathing for almost eight minutes before he collapsed and died in police custody in July of 2011. Initially, the officers were found to have acted properly – but after the Journal-Sentinel released a video of Williams in the squad car, authorities are revisiting their findings. Also, Milwaukee County Medical Examiner Brian Peterson said he did not review police reports or the video before his initial ruling that Williams died from natural cases. That was changed to homicide after the video came out. And this week, Peterson said he would have a panel of pathologists review all deaths in police custody – and require the medical examiners to obtain police reports and other documents before making their rulings.
The state Justice Department took a Madison industry to court today. The DNR had recommended the lawsuit against Madison-Kipp, which makes machine components for industries as well as transportation, lawn, and garden customers. The state’s complaint said Madison-Kipp never told the DNR about discharges of cancer-causing PCB’s from 1966 through at least 1971. And the firm allegedly kept using PCE until 1987. It’s a degreasing solvent, and officials say it can contaminate soil and groundwater. Company spokesman Mark Meunier tells the Madison Capital Times that he’s not surprised by the state’s lawsuit – and the firm has been working to resolve the state’s concerns. Meunier also said there is not an elevated risk of health problems for employees, or for others nearby.
The state of Wisconsin wants businesses to move north of the border from Illinois. A new ad campaign will start next week. It’s aimed at getting Illinois businesses to move to the Badger State. Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker says he hopes the campaign will help increase private sector jobs in the state. Walker had promised to create 250,000 new jobs in Wisconsin when he ran for the governor’s office two years ago. Job growth has been stagnant and those goals haven’t been met.
A computer analyst for the City of Milwaukee faces a federal indictment for allegedly selling methamphetamine. Jeffrey Hussinger was one of four people indicted in the case. He is on administrative leave from his position with the city’s health department. Hussinger has pleaded not guilty, is free on bond and has had his trial date set for November. Federal investigators say the drug dealing happened between February and September of this year. The case is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s office.
Madison police say 30 year old Shaun Smith kicked and spit at officers as they tried to take him into custody last night. Smith was found passed out in a bus shelter on Madison’s south side a little after 9:30 p.m. The Fitchburg man has tentatively been charged with battery to a police officer, disorderly conduct, resisting-obstructing, bail jumping and unlawful use of a bus shelter. The incident happened at the South Transfer Point. A police department spokesman says Smith kicked one officer in the knee. He also was yelling anti-Semitic, sexist and homophobic slurs as he was being arrested.
Former U.S. Senator Russ Feingold fired up a Democratic crowd in Appleton this afternoon by saying that the Mitt Romney-Paul Ryan ticket is quote, “out of touch with reality.” Feingold was one of the opening speakers at a rally featuring First Lady Michelle Obama, who was scheduled to appear at 3:45. Feingold said Romney and Ryan quote, “think teachers have too much influence, but not big business.” And he said that if Republicans think they’re on a roll, “they’re wrong.” A full house is attending the rally at Lawrence University in Appleton, where Feingold is a visiting professor. He also co-chairs President Obama’s re-election campaign. Feingold and GOP presidential nominee Paul Ryan are both from Janesville originally. Feingold said he used to consider Ryan a “straight shooter,” but his speech at the Republican National Convention showed a quote, “tenuous relationship with the truth.” Feingold was referring to the infamous line in which Ryan blamed Obama for the closing of the GM plant in Janesville – even though the company ended its production in the final days of George W. Bush’s presidency.