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Wisconsin Act 75 which was enacted on August 6th, 2021, but went into effect January 1st, 2022 states that when police officers in the state of Wisconsin use force they shall make every effort to preserve and protect human lives. When Wisconsin police officers do use force, they must act in good faith and assess beforehand:
- The seriousness of the crime that is being alleged
- Whether or not the suspect poses an imminent threat to the safety of the public or other police officers.
- Whether or not the suspect is actively resisting arrests or actively attempting to evade arrest by trying to leave the scene.
Deadly Force by Police Officers in Wisconsin
A Wisconsin police officer may only resort to deadly force as a last resort, after the police officer has exhausted all other options, and the only choice left to them would be the use of deadly force. An equal amount of deadly force must be in use against the police officer, or the police officer must be in jeopardy of suffering great bodily harm before resorting to the use of deadly force. A police officer must use a verbal warning before utilizing deadly force against a suspect, such as “stop or I am going to shoot you with my gun!”. This is enforceable in all police intervention, including traffic stops.
Illinois also recently released the Criminal Justice Reform Act in 2021.
Duty to Intervene by Wisconsin Police Officers
Police officers in the state of Wisconsin now have a duty to intervene to stop another police officer from using force that would be unreasonable. A police officer who intervenes as required shall report the findings to his or her immediate supervisor as soon as possible after the occurrence of the use of such unreasonable force. A person who intentionally fails to report an intervention may be fined $1000 or spend 6 months in prison or both.
Wisconsin Police Whistleblower Protections
Police Officers are now afforded protections for reporting unreasonable amounts of force by other colleagues under the whistleblower protections. These protections states that no police officer shall be discharged, disciplined, demoted, denied a promotion, transfer or reassignment, or otherwise discriminated against in regards to their employment as a police officer, because the police officer has reported or it is believed that the police officer has reported, provided information, participated in, or testified as to the unreasonable use of force by another police officer colleague.
The governor also signed bills into law last summer which require the state of Wisconsin to issue annual reports on use of force incidents. Police departments are now required to post their use of force policies online on their website. Police officers statewide are now permanently banned from using maneuvers such as chokeholds to subdue subjects with the exception of situations where someone’s life may be placed in jeopardy. The new law also set aside $600K so that cities in Wisconsin can put towards community police housing otherwise known as COP houses.
Wisconsin Pharmacy Benefit Managers Laws
Another law that took effect on January 1st, 2022, is that in the State of Wisconsin Pharmacy Benefit Managers “PBM’s” are to be licensed by the Office of the Commissioner of Insurance.
PBM’s act as middlemen between the pharmacies and insurance companies. Wisconsin pharmacists have long had issues with PBMs, because PBMs would not allow pharmacists to inform consumers about cheaper generic drug options that may exist for them. Under the new Wisconsin law this will effectively ban PBMs from putting “gag orders” on pharmacists’ ability to convey cheaper drug information for Wisconsin drug consumers and for generic drugs that will cost Wisconsin drug consumers far less than full priced name branded drugs. This will result in Wisconsin consumers paying far less for their drugs at the pharmacy.