Wausau Police Chief addresses comments over release of body cam footage from officer-involved shooting

First responders and law enforcement on scene of an officer-involved shooting in Wausau, Jan. 16, 2020 (WSAW Photo)

WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAW) -- Wausau Police Chief Ben Bliven is addressing comments regarding the release of body cam footage from a Jan. 16 fatal shooting.

The Department of Justice says the suspect in an officer-involved shooting Thursday night on the west side of Wausau fired on law enforcement and a vehicle with a person inside before law enforcement returned fire, resulting in the suspect's death.

“While I am not able to comment on the specifics of the investigation, there are questions people have posed to us regarding the mechanics of the investigation. Between now and the time our District Attorney announces her findings regarding the shooting, I will be answering your questions here about the “why” behind our policies and procedures. Feel free to send us a private Facebook message, email me at Benjamin.Bliven@ci.wausau.wi.us, or leave me a message at 715-261-7802 and pose your questions,” Chief Bliven wrote Thursday.

The message concluded stating, “We have policies and procedures that guide us in every situation. Yet every situation has a different set of facts. We do our best at Wausau PD to follow best practice. We are among the small percentage of police departments in Wisconsin that are accredited through the Wisconsin Law Enforcement Accreditation Group (WILEAG). This means we have put the best law enforcement practices in place at our police department and we are required to prove to the accrediting board that we follow those practices.”

The investigation is being handled by the Department of Criminal Investigation, a division of the Department of Justice, which is standard procedure for officer-involved shootings in Wisconsin.