Mayor Rhodes-Conway’s Statement on MPD Internal Investigation Findings
It is my fundamental belief that governmental entities, including the police, must hold ourselves accountable for the quality of our interactions with the public. When those interactions are with our most vulnerable community members - such as young people of color suffering from mental illness - that responsibility becomes a moral imperative.
The police investigation on the June 3, 2019 use of force incident is now complete. The MPD conducted an internal investigation, consistent with its department policies. In the interest of transparency and objectivity, they then had an outside, subject matter expert review the investigation and findings. This review found the officers’ conduct to be objectively reasonable - the constitutional standard for police use of force.
As I stated previously, we in the City of Madison aspire to higher performance standards than simply not violating the constitutional rights of those we serve. We aspire to performance excellence and holding ourselves accountable to continually striving for best-practice level performance.
I appreciate the Chief’s stated commitment to doing better - to improving future outcomes through improved training, and adherence to our best-practice policies related to de-escalation, use of force and the police response to those suffering from mental illness.
As a City, we are grateful for the policy recommendations we have already received from our community members and the Ad Hoc Committee on Police Policy and Procedure in these areas. I intend to move forward with due diligence to create civilian oversight mechanisms for objective oversight of the MPD’s on-going efforts for continuous improvement. In addition, my 2020 operating budget will fund increased mental health training for police officers, as recommended by the Ad Hoc Committee. It is my intention that these steps move us toward best practices and improved levels of interaction with all of our residents.
- Katie Crawley, 266-4611