Kenosha police defend the badge against ad campaign

KENOSHA (WITI) -- Members of the Kenosha Police Department spoke out on Tuesday morning, June 25th against an ad campaign they say paints an inaccurate picture about their force. They're referring to ads taken out by Michael Bell, whose son was killed by Kenosha police in 2004.

Bell came to a packed meeting of Kenosha's Police and Fire Commission to renew accusations that Police Chief John Morrissey acted unethically during the review of a tasing incident that occurred in July 2012.

"When a family calls upon open dialogue, they just sit on it or ignore it. Therefore, we bought our advertising because it's the only thing to get them to come to the table," said Bell.

Michael Bell

Bell's latest purchase is a series of TV ads focusing on a conversation between Chief Morrissey and an independent investigator hired by Kenosha police to review the tasing incident. Bell says it's suspicious Morrissey told the reviewer he was not using his work email due to open records requests.

Morrissey didn't talk Tuesday, but those who defended him say there's nothing wrong with that request.

"The fact that he chooses to use personal e-mail doesn't mean he's evading the law or violating the law," said former Kenosha County District Attorney Bob Jambois.

Kenosha Police Detective Pete Deates says ads aren't sparking a conversation; they're just smearing the entire department.

"Mr. Bell's campaign to discredit the officers and staff of the police department betrays his goal of accomplishing a fair investigatory process," said Deates.

"I'm going to continue with the advertising. As we speak, I continue to do radio, I continue to do TV and I will order up additional newspaper because this matter will be addressed," said Bell.

Bell says he's hoping to accomplish two things. First, he wants the U.S. Attorney's Office to open an investigation into the patterns and practices of the Kenosha Police Department. Second, he hopes to help create an independent state commission that would review all police-involved shootings in Wisconsin.