GREEN BAY AREA REGIONAL NEWS: Brown County

Speaker’s Task Force on Racial Disparities holds hearing in Green Bay

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GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) A state task force looking into racial disparities came to Green Bay to take testimony at Lambeau Field. Kris Schuller reports the Subcommittee on Law Enforcement, hopes to create legislation that brings about significant policing reforms.

In a conference room at Lambeau Field a task force meets, with a goal of enacting policing reforms statewide.

“To find out where those racial disparities exist and try to figure out how to narrow those,” said Rep. Jim Steineke (R-Kaukauna).

This coalition was formed by Republican Assembly Speaker Robin Vos after the Jacob Blake shooting in Kenosha, to address the many concerns raised in ongoing racial injustice discussions.

“If we’re really going to address it, we have to talk about racism,” said Rep. Shelia Stubbs (D-Madison).

The task force is made up of community activists, racial justice advocates, law enforcement officers and more. Testimony this morning came from a representative of the Center for Suicide Awareness, who said the mental health of officers can affect the way they interact with people and helping them is a priority.

“How many of you go home every day and all you think about is all the bad things that happened?” said Mike Crum from the center.

But one committee member questioned if it’s right to have this discussion, when minority populations are dealing with systemic racism.

“We’re talking about giving them treatment after they’ve been traumatized, by the trauma they’ve inflected on society,” said Fred Royal, president of the Milwaukee NAACP. “I just find that ironic.”

“Today’s conversation is the start of a necessary conversation that has never happened, so you’re going to unpack a lot of emotions,” said Rep. Stubbs.

The task force hopes to create a package of bills that could reach the chamber floors by early next year.

This was the third meeting of the task force.

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