"Who Ordered The Police Cover-Up?"
Shooting Officer Confronts Father

21-year-old Michael Bell Jr. pulled up to the house where he lived with his mom and sister in Kenosha, Wis., about an hour south of Milwaukee. A police officer who, according to a police report chose to follow Bell after observing his driving, arrived shortly after. A subsequent toxicology report showed that Bell had been drinking that night.

Dash cam footage from inside the squad car shows Bell exiting the vehicle he was driving, where he was confronted by the officer. The two walked off-camera, where police tried to arrest him. A struggle ensued, and while his mom and sister watched from the house, Bell was shot, point-blank, in the head.

Bell's father, Michael Sr., says he'll never forget the phone call he received on the night of Nov. 9, 2004, from his oldest daughter.

"She called me up: 'Dad, you need to come to the hospital, Michael's been shot.' And then she told me it was by a police officer," Bell says. "And I just I figured it might've been shot in the leg or shot in the arm ... but I came to find out that an officer placed a gun directly to my son's temple and took his life."

Gina Barton, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's law enforcement investigative reporter, covered the story back in 2004. She says that what led to the shooting was one of the officers shouting, "He's got my gun."

"And another officer thought that Mike Bell was trying to disarm his partner," Barton says.

Barton says Bell's mother and sister, who were watching the altercation unfold, heard the officer as well and they tried to yell that Michael Bell did not have the officer's gun.

"But apparently, they either didn't hear that or disregarded it," Barton says.

The Kenosha Police Department's detective division and internal affairs division immediately conducted an investigation. Barton says it didn't take long. Within 48 hours, the department had determined that the shooting was justified, that the use of force was proper and that none of the officers had done anything wrong.

"It wasn't until later that we realized just how little of an investigation had been done," Barton says. "[They] basically just accepted the officers' version of events. So they were cleared really quickly."

AG Schimel's Dec 8th 2017 Letter


Please contact the following elected officials. They have the power to reopen an investigation into the police fatal shooting of Michael E. Bell. We need your help.

Attorney General Schimel | Sheriff David Beth | District Attorney Graveley

Attorney General Brad Schimel
PO Box 7857
Madison, WI 53703-7857
(608) 266-1221

Sheriff David Beth
1000 55th Street
Kenosha, WI 53140
(262) 605-5100

District Attorney Michael Graveley
912 56th Street
Kenosha, WI 53140
(262) 653-2400