by Benjamin Yount
The first report on officer-involved use-of-force in Wisconsin may surprise some people.
Attorney General Josh Kaul on Monday released the numbers on cases where suspects died or were hurt, or where police officers fired their gun while chasing or arresting a suspect.
Kaul’s office reported 48 incidents last year that ended with some kind of injury. That includes 11 that ended with deaths, another 11 that ended in gunshot wounds, and just two that ended with broken bones.
“The release of this data marks the first time that our state government has made comprehensive, statewide use-of-force data available to the public. This information will allow for a more comprehensive, evidence-based understanding of use-of-force incidents in Wisconsin,” Kaul said.
The information is available on a public dashboard.
The numbers show that of the 48 officer-involved use-of-force incidents, 32 of the suspects were white and just 13 of the suspects were black. Most were young, under 35 years old. And most of the suspects were men. Just five suspects who were injured were women.
Most of the officers involved in the use-of-force incidents are white and had fewer than 10-years of service on their respective forces.
There is no large concentration of use-of-force cases.
Milwaukee Police had the most with just four incidents, Madison Police had just two, while the Dane County Sheriff’s Office reported three. But the overwhelming majority of police departments and sheriff’s offices in Wisconsin reported zero use-of-force incidents.
Kaul says 96% of law enforcement agencies reported their numbers to his office. Those agencies cover 99.9% of Wisconsin’s population.
You can view the data here.
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Benjamin Yount is a contributor to The Center Square.