MADISON, Wis. — Gov. Tony Evers on Wednesday ordered the Wisconsin State Patrol and other state law enforcement agencies to update their use of force policies to prohibit chokeholds, unless as a last resort, after the Assembly’s bipartisan racial disparities task force issued 18 recommendations to address policing practices statewide.

The task force, created after a white Kenosha police officer shot a Black man last summer, stopped short of calling for a total ban on chokeholds and no-knock warrants as Evers first called for last year after the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. It was unclear how many of their recommendations would win approval by the Legislature and be signed into law by Evers.

But Evers sidestepped the Legislature with his executive order, which applies only to the Wisconsin State Patrol, Wisconsin State Capitol Police and the Department of Natural Resources Division of Public Safety and Resource Protection. He ordered those agencies to review and update their use of force policies to specify that deadly force, including chokeholds, only be used as a last resort.

Evers, a Democrat, also ordered that de-escalation tactics be used and officers should intervene to prevent or stop excessive force by another officer. He also requires that all officers report when they’ve used force and he provides a protection against discipline for officers who witness excessive force and report it or attempt to intervene.

“We’re getting to work here on the state level to make sure we’re leading by example and setting the bar in Wisconsin,” Evers said in a statement. “Wisconsinites across our state are demanding action and meaningful, systemic change — this is a critically important step, but it can’t be the last.”

Evers did not comment specifically on the recommendations from the task force, which are expected to be put forward as bills for the Legislature to consider in the coming weeks.

Evers has pushed the Republican-controlled Legislature to take other steps, but they ignored nine bills he introduced last year. Evers is also proposing policing changes in his state budget, which is pending before the Legislature.

Republican legislative leaders, Assembly Speaker Robin Vos and Senate Majority Leader Devin LeMahieu, had no immediate comment on the Evers order.

It came hours after the Assembly’s racial justice task force, which included Democrats, representatives from law enforcement, community groups, activists and others, issued its recommendations.

That group could not reach consensus on how to define what constitutes excessive police use of force for the purposes of creating a statewide definition, although it recommended there be a statewide standard. Evers last year also proposed creating a statewide definition that would apply to all law enforcement agencies, not just those under his control.

The task force did recommend calling for law enforcement agencies to make their use of force policies available online, standardize the reporting of use-of-force incidents to the state and require crisis management training for all law enforcement officers.

Other recommendations include requiring a duty for police officers to intervene in instances where another officer is using force and to report that to a superior officer; requiring police officers working in schools to receive some specific training for that assignment; mandating a psychological examination as a condition of employment for a law enforcement officer; and requiring drug and alcohol testing for any officer involved in an incident that causes a death or serious injury.

The task force called for collecting data from federal, state and local law enforcement agencies to determine how often no-knock warrants are used. And while it said chokeholds should be banned, it said they should still be allowed in “life-threatening situations or in self defense.”

Republican Assembly Majority Leader Jim Steineke, co-chair of the task force, said in an interview on Tuesday that he hoped to move “as quick as practicable” on drafting bills based on the recommendations, with public hearings next month and June votes in the Assembly. The bills must also pass the GOP-controlled Senate and be signed by Evers to become law.

The panel’s other co-chair, Democratic Rep. Shelia Stubbs, had been critical of Republican leaders for not taking up bills to address police practices and racial disparities. But Stubbs, who is Black, said she was optimistic the recommendations would get traction.

“We just gotta get to that place where we get something done for the people across the state,” Stubbs said.

Vos created the task force in August, after the Legislature ignored nine proposals Evers put forward in June and after a white Kenosha police officer shot Jacob Blake, who is Black, leaving him paralyzed.

Steineke, of Kaukauna, took heat earlier this year when emails revealed he thought the job of co-chairing the task force was a “political loser.” Steineke said in an email to Vos that the task force provided a chance to “show how Evers could get things done if his admin weren’t so damned political.”

___

Follow Scott Bauer on Twitter: https://twitter.com/sbauerAP

rn% endblock %","start":"https://users.startribune.com/placement/1/environment/3/limit-signup-optimizely/start"},{"id":"limit-signup","count":12,"action":"ignore","mute":true,"action_config":"template":"% extends "grid" %rnrn% block heading_text %Youu2019ve read your 10 free articles for this 30 day period. Sign up now for local coverage you wonu2019t find anywhere else, special sections and your favorite columnists. StarTribune puts Minnesota and the world right at your fingertips. % endblock %rnrn% block last %rn parent() rn# limit Krux pixel from https://www.squishlist.com/strib/customshop/328/ #rnrnrn% endblock %","start":"https://users.startribune.com/placement/1/environment/3/limit-signup/start"},"id":"meter-desktop-331","count":10,"action":"ignore","mute":false,"action_config":false,"start":"https://users.startribune.com/placement/1/environment/3/meter-desktop-331/start","id":"PDA991499opt","count":9,"action":"ignore","mute":true,"action_config":false,"start":"https://users.startribune.com/placement/1/environment/3/PDA991499opt/start","id":"limit","count":8,"action":"inject","mute":false,"action_config":"template":"

rnrnrnrn

rn

rn

rn rn

rn t

rn SUBSCRIBErn Already a subscriber? Log in.rn

rn

All Star Tribune readers without a Digital Access subscription are given a limited number of complimentary articles every 30 days. Once the article limit is reached we ask readers to purchase a subscription including Digital Access to continue reading. Digital Access is included in all multi-day paper home delivery, Sunday + Digital, and Premium Digital Access subscriptions. After the 1 month Premium Digital Access introductory period you will be charged at a rate of $14.99 per month. You can see all subscription options or login to an existing subscription herern

rn rn

rn

rn

rn

rn

rn","start":"https://users.startribune.com/placement/1/environment/3/limit/start"},{"id":"nag","count":7,"action":"lightbox","mute":true,"action_config":{"height":null,"width":"630px","redirect_on_close":null,"template":"% extends "shell" %rnrn% block substyles %rn

rn% endblock %rnrn% block page %rn#rnrn limit - count - 1 rnrn form.flow_form_open(nextAction: 'firstSlide', null, null, '_top') rn form.btn('Save Now') rn form.flow_form_close() rnrn

rnrnrnu2022 rnrnrnrn#rn

rn

rn

You have limit - count - 1 articles left

rn

rn rn u00a0u00a0u2022u00a0u00a0rn rn

rn

rn

rn

rn Save More Todayrn

Over 70% off!

rn

rn

rn

rn

99u00a2 for first 4 weeks

rn form.flow_form_open(nextAction: 'firstSlide', null, null, '_top') rn form.button('Save Now', 'btn nag-btn') rn form.flow_form_close() rn

rn

rn% endblock %rnrn% block last %rn parent() rnrn% endblock %"},"start":"https://users.startribune.com/placement/1/environment/3/nag/start"},"id":"x","count":4,"action":"ignore","mute":true,"action_config":false,"start":"https://users.startribune.com/placement/1/environment/3/x/start","id":"multi-start","count":3,"action":"fly_in","mute":true,"action_config":"location":"bottom_left","slide_direction":"bottom","group_id":null,"display_delay":"0","collapse_delay":"10","template":"

rn

rn

rn

rn u00d7rn

rn

rn

From just

rn

$3.79 99u00a2 a week

rn Save nowrn

rn

rn

","start":"https://users.startribune.com/placement/1/environment/3/multi-start/start"]};