• Sabrina

    What is tragic now is that a law abiding citizen is in fear of ever calling the police again. What has our country come to? Why is no one else seeing that the police are a corrupt and no longer protect and serve the citizens?

    • merridee

      It is now a police state. My town has a lot of police shootings and the drunk and mentally ill are targets. One victim with a history of depression was shot in the course of a ‘welfare’ check. The dispatcher failed to notify the police the person was also deaf and mute. That was the day I became unwilling to call the police in my town.

      • Maggie

        Merridee, that is absolutely apalling and heartbreaking! I shudder to think of what happened. Probably something like this: the police received no answer after knocking,then just broke in (because someone was worried that the individual had not been seen in a while)….confronted them inside their OWN HOME….said “Dont’ move!”….and since the person could not hear them, they did not obey the command and were shot and killed.

        Paulie’s story is also appalling and heartbreaking, and I still can’t believe that this officer got away with what he did. I just signed a petition that’t going around from his roommates (Nathan and Amelia)on Change.Org. Hopefully, it will make a difference!

  • Karyn Chacon

    I am a neighbor of this family and I want to applaud them for how they handled this situation. They were respectful to the police, Paulie’s family and the community by not getting out there and feeding the drama and now they are making their voices heard with dignity. To the O’Malley family healing and peace as they work through this tragedy with their family. Peace.

    • Heidi

      I am also a neighbor of the O’Malleys. I don’t know them well, but we are friendly and occasionally have neighborly chats. Megan and Kevin, if you are reading these comments, I applaud you both for finally speaking out. Love, peace and respect to you both.

  • angela

    Thanks to Bill Lueders for this great piece, and for all of his very important coverage and analysis of the MPD over the years. I am also now afraid to call 911, as are other people I know, and was utterly horrified by what happened, and the circling of the wagons which occurred afterward (though I understand now why that happens.) I’m also really impressed by the O’Malley family and their willingness to speak the truth, which can’t be easy.

    • laura

      William Jackson, I wish your sensible sounding comment held more water but unfortunately, Sabrina’s is closer to the truth. I would really like to know what is causing this nation-wide deterioration of the police from “protect and serve” to “harass and kill”. It can’t be just a coincidence. A real investigative reporter needs to look into this – it could be a huge story. Finding a real investigative reporter, however, might be a challenge. Signing the petition will help get the cop fired, but it won’t solve the real problem. Chief Wray is ready to throw the cop under the bus anyway so he (Chief) doesn’t look bad, but it’s the law that needs to be re-written.

  • Dan Roberts

    The thing is this. Drunk stumbling kids exist every frigging friday and saturday night down on state street. If police started shooting every time a drunken kid threw a punch stumbled toward or even struggled with them the death toll would be staggering. Steps that are less severe than shooting to kill should be exhausted before that step is taken. I can see no such progression taken in this instance. Nor do i see the proper concern exhibited for the bystanders observing the incident. The police officer is a public SERVANT. And as such has to take into consideration the safety of the public they serve and PROTECT. If this cop BELIEVES his life to be in danger or not it is hard to see how it was given the testimony released to see how that could be the case. It used to be the standard for a cop to start shooting was seeing or at least thinking they saw a weapon in the hand of a suspect. Now I guess that standard is “feeling”. How far does this standard go? I “felt” I MIGHT be in danger when I arrived because it was called as a break in and he MIGHT have a weapon so i started shooting cause I thought They MIGHT be the suspect? So oooops sorry? That is why the standard used to be stricter. Some evidence was needed besides drunken stumbling. The concern here is for a slipping standard that endangers the public the police are supposed to serve.

  • William Jackson

    Sabrina, discussions about these incidents are immediately compromised when someone posts that kind of generalization. There are several hundred thousand officers in this country. Dismissing them all as corrupt is senseless.

    • George O’Connor

      Agreed. I believe the good cops want the bad cops gone too. I am not anti-police just anti-corruption. I do think that if a grown man (30 years old) gets wasted drunk, becomes combative with his neighbor at 2 in the morning, and even combative with a police officer who has his gun drawn should bear serious responsibility for the incident. Maybe you shouldn’t get drunk and be an aggressive @$$. Yet I want to be clear, I don’t condone the use of excessive force at all.

      • laura

        George, no maybe about it but it happens. You are not clear at all that you don’t condone the use of excessive force. Sounds like you are making excuses for it. I saw a video of this cop and he seems like a really good guy, although he may not have been getting enough sleep. I wanted to give him the benefit of the doubt and am sorry to say I cannot. Three shots (not one) was the final straw.

  • Chris

    Disturbing article, tragic chain of events, and obviously unneeded use of lethal force, and I’m basing that on the story related by Mr. O’Malley, the level of blood/alcohol, and the fact that the gun was drawn as the first choice of action by the responding officer. Why was lethal weaponry the first choice, what ever happened to using your brain first, and non-lethal means second?

    When ever I read stories about questionable police use of lethal force against citizens I am very cynical that the true facts will ever come out. I am uncomfortable with the very premise that internal investigations are unbiased, can’t be influenced, and evidence lost, or manipulated.

    Even the DA’s office is too cozy of a relationship to trust with any/all of these type of situations for any grown up adult to feel comfortable with.

    Truly enlightend civilised society would create, proven impartial and nuetral, investigative teams, commissions, systems, etc that would have jurisdiction on all officer involved shootings.

    Anything short of that, I will always entertain questions and have my doubts on the vialbility of the facts coming to light.

    • George O’Connor

      Maybe some sort of “Citizens Court” where civilians from the district could sit on a panel like a jury and decide if there is enough merit to have a full blown investigation.

  • JOhn

    When Police are allowed to investigate themselves the conclusion is obvious.”We have investigated ourselves and we find that we are not guilty”There is no justice here!We need a private outside source to do the investigation.

    • George O’Connor

      I agree completely. Imagine if the police allowed private citizens to investigate themselves for crimes and then dismiss the charges against themselves. Ridiculous!!

    • laura

      Also, look at the law itself: if he “feels” he is in danger, he can shoot – well, now who can dispute how he feels? Does anyone really think that law was well written? How about something about reasonable likelihood?

  • Diane

    My question in this case as well as many of the gun laws discussions. Whatever happend to the “stun gun”? wouldn’t this disable the person but not kill them? Same as the debate of allowing teachers to have guns. In my opinion.. the children can get traumatized from the act of shooting, but more so of the site of the blood and unknown. I do not know how far it can travel but feel this should be utilized in many cases. I would like to hear from others on the debate of guns vs stun guns.

  • Pingback: Police exonerate officer in fatal shooting, questions remain | WisconsinWatch.org()

  • Pingback: A Problem in Madison « improving police()

  • Pingback: Friends of Paulie Heenan Postpone Grief in Search for Justice | Wisconsin Citizens Media Cooperative()

  • Jenni

    My kung fu instructor tells me that if I can’t move out of the way of a drunk who wants to fight me…that I deserve to get my ass kicked. This policeman has CERTAINLY had more combat training than I have, and there are so many ways he could have gotten the suspect onto the ground and handcuffed if necessary. If this guy doesn’t recognize his own house, how do you think his attempt to beat up a cop is going to go? Let alone grab the officer’s gun…which he had raised the whole time, apparently.

  • Pingback: Madison Maddy()

  • D K

    This is becomming more and more common. It’s to bad they get away with it, just goes to show what kind of state we are becoming. These officers don’t care about anything or anybody anymore. I wouldn’t give two cents for any of them. In our county, Marinette County, there were a couple people shot, the stories always come out they shot themselves or they were armed. The thing is they investigate their own and why would they take the story of a bystander in some cases as to what really happened. I’ve seen harassment of people driving through town that are stopped and searched for no reason, belongings are thrown out of the vehicles and dogs are in the vehicles and scratching the paint and nothing is found. They do what they want, to much power for these useless wonders. And if you report them, u have to watch your back. There is a judicial commission that you can turn them into over in Madison, they will review all the paperwork, etc and then tell you they didn’t find anything wrong with what the officers did, same goes for reporting judges and DA’s to them. They are a private group not paid by any government agency they told me and they do as they please. They also told me they don’t have anyone over them so you can’t even report them to anyone. They are probably a group of corrupt use to be cops, lawyers and judges. I for one am fed up with all the corruption that goes on all over the country with this type of thing.

  • D K

    So I guess anyone that sees this officer should expect that their lives will be in danger when he approaches because he has been known to shoot another person that was unarmed with no consequence. Don’t most people who shoot someone else have to go through court, real court in order to be deemed guilty or not guilty? This officer gets to go scott free after his superiors took a look at what happened, what is up with that. Oh yes, they are above the law.

    • laura

      DK, that seems like a very good point and perhaps the law should be rewritten to put it into effect. Obviously, it isn’t just this officer you would (and do) need to fear as the Police Chief exonerated him and most likely has exonerated every police shooting there has ever been. Any investigative reporter want to check into that? It’s very unfortunate when people feel the need to turn to federal police (is that even Constitutional?) for justice. Would prefer to support the local police, but unfortunately, all across this nation, they have become out of control. Don’t know why.