As criminal cases mount against Milwaukee police officers, state legislators are taking another look at a law that requires the city to keep paying officers after they’re fired while they appeal, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports. Yesterday, a compromise bill was introduced that would would cut off pay to fired officers who are charged with crimes, require all fired officers who lose their appeals to pay back the wages and benefits earned after their terminations, and speed up appeals.
The new bill comes as three Milwaukee police officers were charged with felonies in three unrelated cases within a week. One was charged with taking bribes, one was charged with trafficking drugs, and a third with sex crimes against a woman he met on duty. “They should be completely embarrassed. They should be doing soul-searching about what they are doing wrong,” said Rep. Garey Bies, a Door County sheriff’s deputy for 30 years who retired in 2000. “When you lose the respect of the public, it plays out all down the line. Everyone who deals with police are wondering: Are they drug-dealing? Are they going to beat me up? Are they going to rape me?”