2021 - 2022 LEGISLATURE
July 12, 2021 - Introduced by Representatives Bowen, Hong, Anderson, Baldeh,
Billings, Brostoff, Cabrera, Conley, Emerson, Goyke, Hebl, Moore
, Neubauer, Shelton and Sinicki, cosponsored by Senators
Johnson, Larson, Agard and Roys. Referred to Committee on Judiciary.
AB448,1,3 1An Act to renumber and amend 978.045 (1g); and to amend 175.47 (5) of the
2statutes; relating to: prosecution decisions following deaths involving law
3enforcement officers.
Analysis by the Legislative Reference Bureau
Current law requires an investigation following a death that involves a law
enforcement officer and outlines specific requirements of the investigation. One
requirement is that the investigators provide a report of the investigation to the
district attorney of the county in which the death occurred, and that district attorney
must determine whether to prosecute the officer. This bill requires instead that the
district attorney provide the report to a special prosecutor appointed by the court and
that special prosecutor then must determine whether to prosecute the officer.
For further information see the state and local fiscal estimate, which will be
printed as an appendix to this bill.
The people of the state of Wisconsin, represented in senate and assembly, do
enact as follows:
AB448,1 4Section 1 . 175.47 (5) of the statutes is amended to read:
AB448,2,65 175.47 (5) (a) The investigators conducting the investigation under sub. (3) (a)
6shall, in an expeditious manner, provide a complete report to the district attorney of

1the county in which the officer-involved death occurred. The district attorney that
2receives the report shall request a judge to appoint a special prosecutor under s.
3978.045 (1r) and shall provide the report to the special prosecutor. The special
4prosecutor shall determine if there is a basis to prosecute the law enforcement officer
5involved in the officer-involved death. If the special prosecutor files charges against
6the officer, the special prosecutor shall be the prosecuting attorney in the case.
AB448,2,127 (b) If the district attorney special prosecutor appointed under par. (a)
8determines there is no basis to prosecute the law enforcement officer involved in the
9officer-involved death, the investigators conducting the investigation under sub. (3)
10(a) shall release the report, except that the investigators shall, before releasing the
11report, delete any information that would not be subject to disclosure pursuant to a
12request under s. 19.35 (1) (a).
AB448,2 13Section 2. 978.045 (1g) of the statutes is renumbered 978.045 (1g) (a) and
14amended to read:
AB448,2,1915 978.045 (1g) (a) A court on its own motion may appoint a special prosecutor
16under sub. (1r) or, and, notwithstanding sub. (1r) (bm), a court shall appoint a special
17prosecutor in response to a request from a district attorney under s. 175.47 (5) (a).
18Except as provided under s. 175.47 (5) (a),
a district attorney may request a court to
19appoint a special prosecutor under that subsection sub. (1r).
AB448,3,4 20(b) Before a court appoints a special prosecutor on its own motion or at the
21request of a district attorney for an appointment that exceeds 6 hours per case, the
22court or district attorney shall request assistance from a district attorney, deputy
23district attorney or assistant district attorney from other prosecutorial units or an
24assistant attorney general. A district attorney requesting the appointment of a
25special prosecutor, or a court if the court is appointing a special prosecutor on its own

1motion, shall notify the department of administration, on a form provided by that
2department, of the district attorney's or the court's inability to obtain assistance from
3another prosecutorial unit or from an assistant attorney general. This paragraph
4does not apply to a request from a district attorney under s. 175.47 (5) (a).
AB448,3 5Section 3 . Initial applicability.
AB448,3,76 (1) This act first applies to reports provided on the effective date of this
AB448,3,88 (End)