Lenard "Lenny" Wells remembered after dying from complications with COVID-19

In this 2008 photo provided by the League of Martin, Lenard Wells, front row center, receives an award from an organization he led to promote the hiring of African-American officers in the Milwaukee Police Department called the League of Martin. Wells, a former Milwaukee police lieutenant and a mentor to many in the black community, died of the new coronavirus. (Kim Robinson/League of Martin via AP)
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MADISON, Wis. (AP) - As part of an ongoing series of stories, the Associated press is featuring the lives of people who have died from the coronavirus around the world.

Lenard "Lenny" Wells had wide influence in his decades in law enforcement. He mentored generations of officers and community activists who went on to become police leaders and lawmakers.

He helped ensure African Americans had equal access to promotions in the desegregated Milwaukee Police Department.

Wells died March 21 at age 69 of complications from the coronavirus.

He dedicated his life to racial equality and fairness, both within the Police Department and the larger community.

A retired colleague described him as "a very versatile leader in Wisconsin." In retirement, he was teaching criminal justice at the University of Memphis in Tennessee.


This photo provided by the League of Martin shows Lenard "Lenny" Wells. Wells, a former Milwaukee police lieutenant and a mentor to many in the black community, has died of the new coronavirus. (League of Martin via AP)
In this 2008 photo provided by the League of Martin, Lenard Wells, front row center, receives an award from an organization he led to promote the hiring of African-American officers in the Milwaukee Police Department called the League of Martin. Wells, a former Milwaukee police lieutenant and a mentor to many in the black community, died of the new coronavirus. (Kim Robinson/League of Martin via AP)