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Resource ID: #25625
Subject: Murders
Source: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Affiliation: 
Date: 10/23-11/04/2012

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Description

Following a mass shooting inside a suburban Milwaukee spa, reporters John Diedrich and Gina Barton dug into the history of shooter Radcliffe Haughton with police in his community of Brown Deer. They uncovered a series of failures by police that left a dangerous man on the street, emboldening him to become more violent. Let down by police, Zina Haughton sought protection with a restraining order. She was dead days after it was issued. Diedrich and Barton found Brown Deer did not follow the state's mandatory arrest law in such cases and failed to uphold its most basic duty: protecting the public. The most remarkable finding was that Brown Deer police actually retreated from a standoff with Haughton even though officers had saw him point what appeared to be a rifle at his wife. The police chief was defiant. Elected officials in Brown Deer deferred to the chief, who operates with little oversight in the village, the reporters found. The case revealed a loophole in state's domestic violence laws: No one could hold local police accountable for failing to follow the law as designed by legislators. Data reporter Ben Poston joined the effort to examine how many domestic violence cases referred to prosecutors result in charges, thus holding other parts of the criminal justice system accountable.

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