Milwaukee police officers would be required to intervene if they see one of their colleagues using excessive force, under a new policy expected to be approved this week, reports the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. The proposed change comes eight years after Frank Jude Jr. was beaten by a group of off-duty Milwaukee police officers while other officers stood by and did nothing. The policy also broadens the department’s definition of force to include situations in which police take a suspect to the ground in an attempt to handcuff or otherwise subdue him or her.
Director Michael Tobin of the city’s Fire and Police Commission said the policy changes were the result of the commission’s ongoing mission to evaluate department policies. Samuel Walker, a criminal justice professor emeritus at the University of Nebraska at Omaha and expert on police use of force, said the requirement for officers to step in if one of their own is abusing someone may be the first of its kind in the nation. “It’s a positive step,” he said. “It’s long overdue.”