Tags: Exclusive Interviews | MidPoint | Mike Bell | police | shot | investigation

Two Men Whose Sons Were Killed by Cops Promote Action Plan

By    |   Friday, 27 Mar 2015 04:53 PM

Two men who say their sons died as a result of police brutality are promoting a plan to help prevent similar deaths.

"There's four legs that this has to be built upon," Retired Lt. Col. Mike Bell, whose son, Michael E. Bell, was shot and killed by a police officer in Kenosha, Wisconsin, told Ed Berliner on "MidPoint" on Newsmax TV on Friday.

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"It has to be built on external investigation, independent review to determine cause, it has to look at accountability, and then the final step is keep a database so that we really know the true cause of everything," he explained.

"Then take that database and distribute it amongst law enforcement so that they can learn from it, so that the academies can start teaching new methods and so forth," he said.

It may be difficult to get states to embrace all four "legs," so Bell says that states should at the very least begin with implementing external investigations.

"That is the first portion of the leg that needs to be taken care of," he said.

William B. Scott, whose son, Erik, was killed by a Las Vegas police officer in front of a Costco in 2010, told Newsmax TV that police also need "better training — where cops need to be trained to de-escalate rather than go straight to the lethal end of the spectrum."

"But the other part of it is there needs to be a deterrent in there," Scott said. "Every cop on the street needs to be deterred from going for the gun first."

Both Bell and Scott say that the first step needs to be implementing third-party independent investigations and reviews of "all police-related fatalities."

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker signed a bill into law in April 2014 requiring that police shootings be followed up by an independent investigation. After the recent shooting in Madison, in which a black teenager was shot and killed by a police officer, an investigation was undertaken.

Bell says that has helped Wisconsin escape the heat that other police departments have faced after police-related fatalities.

"Right now they feel good that there's been a number of shootings but external investigation is coming in," he explained. "An outside body is reviewing that, and that's very important here because they're breathing a little bit easy here in Wisconsin because of the law we passed April of last year."

Bell and Scott also advocate for more police officers wearing body cameras.

"[A body camera] definitely works, and we've seen that in any number of different cities," Scott said.

"It's really a flight data recorder on an airplane," Bell said. "It's capturing everything that's occurring at that instant."

However, in order to be effective, "it has to be scrutinized and has to be brought back to law enforcement and to say, 'What can we learn from this scenario, and how could we improve this?'" he explained.

"That's what the secret is about a body camera," he said. "Unless it's scrutinized with the same methods that they use in the Air Force or in aviation, the body cameras really are not going to be as successful as it could be."

A bipartisan group of senators recently introduced a bill to help fund body cameras as well as a follow-up study. 

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Two men who say their sons died as a result of police brutality are promoting a plan to help prevent similar deaths. "There's four legs that this has to be built upon," Retired Lt. Col. Mike Bell, whose son . . .
Mike Bell, police, shot, investigation
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Friday, 27 Mar 2015 04:53 PM
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