The press conference Feburary 8, 2011 where Mayor Dickert gave 1.2million dollars to Delta Hawk to produce engines in the City of Racine WI. Was this a good investment at the time? What is this claw back Mayor Dickert? Is the City of Racine investing wisely with City funds? What are the future investments the City of Racine are about to make?
Check out Racine Transparency http://racinetransparency.tumblr.com/
Check out Racine Exposed http://racineexposed.wordpress.com/
Published on Jan 29, 2013
Bell family hires nationally recognized Investigative Consultant Ira Robins with funds from $1.75M settlement. After months of investigation, the Bell family releases information to the FBI and Department of Justice regarding cover up in Bell shooting. Asks for investigation and indictments against Kenosha Police Chief John Morrissey, Police Administration and officers involved in shooting Michael Edward Bell.
Father of man killed by Kenosha police requests federal probe
The man behind dozens of smoking-gun billboards that sprang up around Milwaukee after the death of Derek Williams in police custody is asking federal authorities to review his son's death at the hands of Kenosha police in 2004.
Michael M. Bell started the billboard campaign in March 2010 after receiving a $1.75 million settlement in a civil suit that accused the officers involved in his son's death of excessive force and civil rights violations. Bell's son, Michael E. Bell, 21, was unarmed when police shot him in the head in his driveway after a traffic stop in November 2004.
The officers involved were not charged or disciplined - an outcome the elder Bell has been working to change for eight years. His publicity campaign also calls for an independent commission to review all police shootings and custody deaths in the state and an independent prosecutor to review potential criminal acts by police. In addition to posting billboards in communities where civilians have died after contact with police, Bell has purchased newspaper ads, produced a television commercial and developed a website, www.MichaelBell.info.
On Tuesday, Bell presented the U.S. attorney's office and FBI with evidence he says proves Kenosha officers did not use justifiable force when they killed his son. He is seeking criminal charges against the officers involved, as well as others he says helped cover up their actions.
Bell also hopes to persuade federal officials to consider an investigation into whether Kenosha police have engaged in a pattern of civil rights abuses - the same type of probe authorities said they are weighing against Milwaukee police in light of Williams' death in July 2011 and several other incidents, including illegal cavity searches for drugs, the detention of the mother of a slain boy and inaccurate reporting of crime statistics.
"I think that because of what happened in Milwaukee, the U.S. attorney and FBI don't have the shining image of law enforcement that they did before," Bell said. "This is not a City of Kenosha problem. This is a state of Wisconsin problem. No place in Wisconsin is there somebody who is directly accountable for law enforcement."
Neither Kenosha police Chief John Morrissey nor public information officer Lt. Brad Kemen returned telephone calls.
FBI spokesman Leonard Peace said Tuesday the agency takes all complaints seriously, but he could not comment on the specifics of Bell's case.
A spokesman for the U.S. attorney's office declined to comment. At a news conference last month announcing a federal criminal investigation into Williams' death, U.S. Attorney James Santelle and Teresa L. Carlson, special agent in charge of the FBI's Milwaukee office, said fighting civil rights abuses is one of their top priorities.
Michael E. Bell was shot in front of his mother and sister on Nov. 9, 2004, after a traffic stop.
According to court records, after Lt. David Krueger and Officer Erich Strausbaugh used their Tasers on Bell four times, Strausbaugh shouted: "He's got my gun!" Another officer, Albert Gonzales, shot Bell point blank in the head. Officer Erich Weidner also was on the scene.
When Bell was shot, Krueger had him in a bear hug around the upper shoulders, pinning him against the left front fender of a car parked in the driveway, according to Krueger's testimony in the civil suit.
Tests from the State Crime Laboratory revealed no evidence of Bell's DNA on the gun, according to a lab report obtained by the family's attorney, Patrick Dunphy. Bell's fingerprints also were not on the gun.
During the course of the family's civil suit, police gave four versions of what happened, court records show.
"The defendants know that Michael's death was unconstitutional, which is why the lies continue even in the light of exposure," Dunphy wrote in a court filing after the differing stories emerged.
Kevin P. Reak, attorney for the Police Department, called Dunphy's claims "ridiculous."
"There is absolutely no evidence that the Defendant officers colluded to lie about their recollections of the incident, or conspired to lie under oath," Reak wrote.
Strausbaugh killed himself in October 2010, about seven months after the civil suit was settled. The officer had told his wife he was stressed in the aftermath of the Bell shooting, according to a medical examiner's report.
Russell Beckman, a retired Kenosha police detective who assisted in the investigation of Bell's death, believes the holster for Strausbaugh's gun got caught on the parked car's rearview mirror, which broke during the altercation.
"If you get your gun caught on something, it feels like someone's tugging on you," Beckman said. "I did not think Erich Strausbaugh made this up. I think he was absolutely convinced Mike Bell had his gun."
If that's the case, it was an honest mistake, which he someday could have learned to live with, Bell's father said. He said what he can't stomach is the thought that instead of owning up to a mistake, the Police Department may have covered it up.
"Our family believes, Kenosha police, in order to protect the image of their department, chose to participate in and cover up a criminal act rather than tarnish the image of their department," Bell said. "This occurred because outside checks and balances have not occurred."
Examining the holster should help federal authorities figure out whether the theory is accurate, said Beckman, who has not been allowed access to it.
Beckman, private investigator Ira Robins and Denise Hertz-McGrath, a Kenosha defense attorney, have compiled a list of about 20 incidents they say show a pattern of civil rights violations by the Kenosha Police Department.
One of them involves the use of a Taser on Keenan L. Smith by Officer Brian Ruha on July 7.
After the Journal Sentinel shared a squad car video and reports of the incident with Kenosha Police and Fire Commission President Ronald J. Frederick, the commission gave the police chief 90 days to investigate the incident and report his findings.