Let’s say my friend is being tried for homicide and I’m on the jury. No, wait -- that would never happen. Most would agree that such a conflict of interest is dangerous.
Madison Ald. Paul Skidmore, 9th District, disagreed in his recent letter urging Madison to accept that when police kill civilians, they should be investigated and judged by their friends and colleagues.
He argues that our plea for an objectively impartial investigation into the police shooting death of unarmed Paul Heenan is causing divisiveness and stalling “the healing process.” He claims the Heenan case has been investigated by three “separate” law enforcement agencies, as if “separate” means “impartial.”
But Madison Police Chief Noble Wray knows that Assistant Chief John Davenport is married to a former Dane County assistant district attorney, now an assistant attorney general for the Wisconsin Department of Justice.
When these intermarried departments investigate each other, it’s a conflict of interest. Skidmore’s knowledge on this issue is to healing as separate is to impartial. He’s only taken the first step and has a long way to go.
-- Amelia Royko Maurer and Nathan Royko Maurer, Madison