THE WPPA ISSUES STATEMENT REGARDING OFFICER-INVOLVED DEATH IN WAUSAU
(MADISON, Wis.) – Following the January 16th shooting involving officers from the Wausau Police Department and Marathon County Sheriff’s Office, Jim Palmer, the executive director of the Wisconsin Professional Police Association (WPPA), the organization representing the officers under investigation by the Wisconsin Department of Justice Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI), issued the following statement:
Members of the WPPA’s field and legal staff responded to assist the officers that were involved in last night’s shooting on the west side of Wausau. Based upon the preliminary information that we have obtained thus far, we are very confident that the officers acted in a lawful and justified manner in the face of a deadly and imminent threat. We are also confident that the evidence collected as a result of the independent investigation now being conducted into this matter will demonstrate that the officers’ use of force was justified and appropriate. The officers are all voluntarily cooperating with the investigation being conducted by DCI.
Make no mistake about it, this is a tragic outcome for many – regardless of the circumstances. It is tragic for those who mourn the passing of a loved one, and for the community that needs to understand precisely what transpired. It is also tragic for the officers that will always carry the heavy weight of this incident and the resulting loss of life.
While the circumstances cannot change the inherent tragic nature of this situation, they do matter as they relate to an assessment as to whether the officers’ actions were justified. In that regard, we believe the officers’ acted lawfully and courageously, and that the ongoing independent investigation will demonstrate the same. While we fully respect and appreciate the fact that the public has a right and a duty to question the actions of its officers, we encourage people to reserve judgment until the investigation concludes and the evidence in this case can be made publicly available.
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With over 10,000 members from almost 300 local association affiliates, the WPPA is Wisconsin’s largest law enforcement group.
See the press release.