Milwaukee activists blast proposed police reform legislation
“This is a slap in the face,” said Angela Lang, the executive director of BLOC, Black Leaders Organizing for Communities.
Community groups and activists say their voices were ignored when legislators drafted police reform bills.
“Most of those demands are not on the table, not being spoken about and not being taken seriously, that is a problem,” said community activist Vaun Mayes.
BLOC says it opposes all the legislation related to police reform. That includes the seven bills discussed at a hearing Thursday which include things like providing data on no-knock warrants, training for school resource officers, crisis training for officers and grants for body cameras.
“Even if we give these particular bills any validation or any air they will get to wash their hands clean and say we did it and these are not actual real reforms,” Lang said.
Milwaukee activists say they want a ban on no-knock warrants and police out of schools.
Republican Representative Jim Steineke says the bills might not be perfect, but they’re a start.
“I don’t think either of us members on the subcommittee would say that we’re solving all the issues in this package of bills, but we're making progress and that’s one of those things that people in communities of color throughout the state don’t feel like they’ve seen in decades, right?” Steineke said. “So, progress is better than nothing and we’re trying to take that approach without taking that risk of getting nothing.”
But these activists disagree.
“Do better,” Lang said. “Start over. Your scraps, your crumbs, are insulting.”
Lang is calling on legislators to vote down all these bills and it they pass, they’re calling on the governor to veto them.
For a list of the seven bills heard in the public hearing, CLICK HERE.