Lena Taylor has teamed up with Van Wanggaard and some other death cult Republicans to sell a handful of “reform” bills that empower, fund, and legitimize the police. Oh, and there’s one that says cops shouldn’t rape the people they kidnap.
The rest of these are trash.
The public hearing on these bills will be, unexpectedly in Milwaukee at the UWM Fireside lounge on Thursday March 18th, at 10AM. Spending time in a room full of cops and gross anti-masking politicians is probably a bad idea, but anyone who wants to risk it, here’s the information.
Or, you can contact Senator Lena Taylor and tell her to withdraw support from the bills, especially SB117 and SB 124: Sen.Taylor@legis.wisconsin.gov 414-342-7176
In the meantime, we looked through Lena’s trash bills so you won’t have to. Here they are in order from “totally fucked” to “wait, how is that not already a law?”
Senate Bill 117 Relating to: boards of police and fire commissioners and protective services departments in populous cities.
Lena Taylor is the ONLY democrat sponsoring this trash, along with 11 Republicans. Police unions are lobbying for this bill, and the City of Milwaukee is against it.
Only impacts Milwaukee, Madison, and “populous cities”. Requires that people picked by the police union and the firefighter unions be on the Fire and Police Commission. Lets cops disciplined by FPC appeal to circuit court, who might overturn their decision. This directly erodes the sovereignty of Wisconsin’s cities to conform to white supremacist demands of illegitimate politicians representing gerrymandered rich, white, suburban districts. It is entirely unacceptable, and fuck Lena Taylor for co-sponsoring this.
Senate Bill 124 Relating to: community-oriented policing-house grant program and making an appropriation.
Lena Taylor and Sylvia Ortiz-Velez are the only Democrats sponsoring this bill, along with six Republicans. City of Milwaukee and police unions are lobbying for this bill.
This bill would create a grant for police in cities with more than 60,000 people. Currently, that means Milwaukee, Madison, Green Bay, Kenosha, Racine, Appleton, Waukesha, Eau Claire, Oshkosh, Janesville, West Allis. So, after the summer of protests calling to defund the police, Lena Taylor is pushing for a law that would make $600,000 available to police. [note: we previously misunderstood and misreported that each grant was $600,000 for a total of $6.6 million. We apologize for the error]. Apparently, she wasn’t listening to anyone at those protests where she took the mic to make empty speeches. These grants are for “community oriented police” which is a facile buzzword used to conceal the harm that police do. Police are a violent occupying force. A community liaison officer playing basketball or giving ice cream away only opens more opportunities to recruit snitches and penetrate deeper into the communities they target.
Senate Bill 121 Relating to: prohibiting use of choke holds by law enforcement officers in use of force policies.
Lena Taylor is the ONLY democrat sponsoring this trash, along with 12 Republicans. City of Milwaukee and police and sheriff unions are lobbying for this bill.
The bill adds the following sentence to current law on use of force: “A law enforcement agency may not authorize the use of choke holds by law enforcement officers in a policy or standard under this subsection, except in life-threatening situations or in self-defense [emphasis added].” As with the 13th amendment to the US Constitution, the exception clause is most important. We know from all the many legal cases and scuttled indictments of murderous cops, “life-threatening situations” and “self-defense” are incredibly loose concepts when invoked by police. Loose enough to render this protection meaningless words on paper. Givenour fucked up legal system, the way this bill explicitly states that cops can kill people with choke holds whenever they get scared is probably less protection than if choke holds were not mentioned at all.
Senate Bill 120 Relating to: law enforcement agency policies on the use of force.
Sponsored by Lena Taylor, Kelda Roys, David Bowen, and 10 Republicans. Police unions, Badger Institute, City of Milwaukee are lobbying for this bill.
Requires that police departments provide more information about use of force incidents. Requires cops who engage in or witness use of force to report it. Prohibits departments from disciplining cops who report violations of use of force policies. This is a pretty basic reform, increases paperwork for cops who hurt people. This is the police overseeing themselves, which gives them legitimacy more than it gives us protection against their violence.
Senate Bill 122 Relating to: public access to policies regarding the use of force by law enforcement.
Taylor and Roys are the only Democrats to sponsor this, along with 10 Republicans. Police unions, Badger Institute, City of Milwaukee are lobbying for this bill.
The bill requires use of force policies to be published on websites and maintained there, up to date. Like, SB 120, this is fine, and will help people who are scrutinizing the police, but will not empower us to actually protect ourselves from the police.
Senate Bill 123 Relating to: reporting of law enforcement use of force incidents.
Taylor, Roys, and Cabrera are the only Democrats sponsoring this, along with 12 Republicans. Police unions, Badger Institute, City of Milwaukee are lobbying for this bill.
Like SB122, this bill would increase reporting and distribution of police violence, especially the collection and reporting of demographic information.
Senate Bill 199 Relating to: sexual contact by a law enforcement officer with a person in detainment or custody and providing a penalty.
Co-sponsored by 14 Democrats and 10 Republicans. City of Milwaukee, Police Chief’s union (not other cop unions) and the WI Coalition Against Sexual Assault (WCASA) are lobbying for this.
This bill says cops can’t rape people in their custody, “consent” by a captured person is not allowed to be a factor. Cops raping people they kidnap was not previously illegal in Wisconsin. Kind of a no-brainer, broadly supported. It would be fine if this passed.