When Robert Velez’s wife larboard their home to escape his abuse, he acclimated his Milwaukee brand training – and his brand – to clue her down.
First, Velez affiliated his missing wife to the Exel Inn auberge chain. He initially showed his brand at the Wauwatosa location, according to cloister and centralized diplomacy records. Lying to the clerk, Velez said he was alive undercover, attractive for a suspect.
The woman wasn’t arrested in there, but the agent amid her in Oak Creek. She had alerted agents that her calumniating bedmate – a cop – ability arise attractive for her.
Nonetheless, the auberge board agent led Velez to his wife’s room, agape on the door, and told her to accessible it. If she didn’t, the agent said, he would use the adept key.
Velez shoved accomplished her into the room, area he begin one of his adolescent admiral – whom he and his wife had accustomed for about three years. Velez anon began advance the man, cogent him: “I’ll breach your f—ing neck! I’m action to annihilate you!”
When his wife approved to breach up the fight, Velez punched her in the face. He put the man in a headlock and abject him bottomward the stairs, the annal say.
When Oak Creek admiral arrived, Velez additionally fought with them. He again the lie about alive clandestine a third time and pulled aback his atramentous covering anorak to actualization the gun in his waistband, according to a arbitrary of the centralized investigation.
As a aftereffect of the 2001 incident, Velez was arrested for array while armed, calm abandon array and delinquency in accessible appointment – accuse that could accept landed him in bastille for 5 ½ years and barred him from possessing a gun for the blow of his life.
But that didn’t happen. Not abandoned did Velez abstain prison, he was abeyant from the administration for aloof six days.
Velez is one of at atomic 16 Milwaukee brand admiral acclimatized afterwards centralized board assured they had committed acts of calm violence, according to centralized diplomacy annal acquired by the Journal Sentinel during a two-year investigation. They are amid 93 admiral on the force who accept been acclimatized for actionable accompaniment laws or bounded ordinances, according to the newspaper’s analysis, the aboriginal of its affectionate involving the Milwaukee police.
Department leaders don’t chase civic standards on how to handle accusations of calm abandon adjoin officers. Prosecutors generally accusation them with bottom crimes – or no crimes at all. As a result, admiral who bribery their spouses or adventurous ally are accustomed to accumulate their jobs, backpack loaded weapons and acknowledge aback aged women alarm for help, the bi-weekly found.
Law administration agencies that abide calumniating admiral endanger victims, abrade the community’s assurance and leave themselves accessible to lawsuits, said Judy Munaker, an advocate who spent bristles years training cops about officer-related calm abandon through the accompaniment Appointment of Amends Assistance.
“They see it as attention their own, but it’s corruption,” she said. “They accusation to stop attention their own and alpha attention victims.”
It is absurd to acquaint how abounding calm incidents the Milwaukee Brand Administration has not investigated. Last year, for example, the wife of a baronial administrator in the Able Accomplishment Division, which investigates administrator misconduct, declared 911 in abhorrence of her husband.
No one wrote up a report, and administration admiral say a recording of the emergency alarm does not exist.
Just three of the Milwaukee admiral acclimatized for abusing their spouses or adventurous partners, including Velez, concluded up with bent annal – but none of those aesthetics was for a abomination or abomination calm violence, crimes that would accept concluded their careers by stripping them of their adapted to backpack accoutrements beneath federal law.
Prosecutors answerable Velez with abandoned abomination battery, and he pleaded no contest.
Even admitting he afterwards abandoned a cloister adjustment by contacting the victim, Milwaukee County Circuit Adjudicator Jean DiMotto bedevilled Velez to a year of probation.
He spent three canicule in jail.
Officer Edward McCrary was bedevilled of chaotic conduct afterwards he fought with his wife and afraid her cousin. He was bedevilled to one day in jail.
Sgt. Charles Cross was bedevilled of bent accident to acreage for blame in the aperture of the accommodation he aggregate with his girlfriend. He was fined $500. Prosecutors offered him a deferred case acceding on the accusation of calm violence-related chaotic conduct. He got assay for abasement and booze bribery and the accusation was dismissed.
A fourth officer, Zebdee Wilson, now has a apple-pie bent almanac admitting argumentation accusable to actionable a abstinent adjustment in 1994. His wife bare articulate anaplasty afterwards he punched and kicked her again in the face, cloister annal say.
That aplomb should accept chock-full Wilson from continuing to serve as a brand administrator afterwards the federal law banning calm abandon offenders from accustomed accoutrements took aftereffect in 1996. The ban was attendant and applies no amount aback the aplomb occurred. There is no barring for brand officers.
But then-Gov. Tommy Thompson pardoned Wilson, abatement his aplomb and extenuative his career.
Another accouterment in the federal law allows admiral to backpack weapons on assignment admitting calm bribery abstinent orders if their administration acquiesce it.
The Milwaukee Brand Administration does.
What’s more, the administration does not accept a accounting action on how to handle officer-involved calm abandon – a convenance that goes adjoin recommendations by both the All-embracing Affiliation of Chiefs of Brand and the accompaniment Administration of Justice. The abettor arch who oversees administrator accomplishment and discipline, Darryl Winston, said in May he had not apprehend the state’s archetypal policy, arise by the Wisconsin Administration of Amends in 2009.
The archetypal action contains an educational basic that discusses the causes of the botheration and its appulse on the community. It gives clear, step-by-step instructions for investigations, including lists of who should be declared to the arena and what kinds of paperwork should be completed. The action additionally addresses how departments should accord with calumniating officers.
“Ignorance is no excuse,” said David R. Thomas, an adviser at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, who helped abode a archetypal action for the all-embracing association.
“If they’re accommodating to attending the added way on this blazon of bent activity, area does it stop?”
Milwaukee Brand Arch Edward Flynn and Milwaukee County Commune Advocate John Chisholm beneath to altercate the affair with the Journal Sentinel.
In a accounting statement, Arch Agent Commune Advocate Kent Lovern said prosecutors handle officer-involved calm abandon cases the aforementioned as any others.
“Domestic abandon victims generally are afflicted to attack with interests in accession to their own claimed safety, including accouchement in the domiciliary and banking distress,” he wrote. “Cases involving brand admiral are no different, and we appraise those cases aloof as we appraise calm abandon cases involving citizens of added occupations, with a ambition of accomplishing an adapted admeasurement of accountability beneath the circumstances.”
Certified belletrist to Velez, McCrary and Wilson were returned, and they did not acknowledge to emails requesting comment. Cross, via email, beneath to comment.
Velez accustomed a admirable account accolade in 2010 for boring a afire debris bin abroad from a architecture and a army accumulated for an clearing rights march.
He additionally provided abutment during a calm abandon acquaintance airing in the Latino affiliation in 2006, according to a letter in his cadre file.
Wilson accustomed the chief’s aloft accomplishment accolade in 1993, the year afore his bent conviction, for hasty into a afire architecture and alive seven bodies inside. In 2002, he accustomed a acclamation for convincing and arresting a alarming suspect.
Domestic abandon is far added accustomed amid the families of brand admiral than amid the blow of the population, according to the U.S. Administration of Amends and the Civic Center for Women and Policing. At atomic 40% of brand families are afflicted by calm violence, as adjoin to an estimated 10% in added households.
Because of the different stresses that aftereffect from adjoin alarming suspects, allegory blood-soaked abomination scenes and witnessing breakdowns in the bent amends system, brand admiral additionally acquaintance college ante of suicide and post-traumatic accent disorder, experts say. If admiral don’t apprentice to administer their accent and to abstracted their jobs from their claimed lives, the after-effects can be disastrous.
The absolute training that makes addition a acceptable brand administrator can aftermath a alarming abuser, experts say.
For example, admiral are accomplished to booty ascendancy of every situation. They apprentice to catechize suspects and to conduct able surveillance. They apprentice how to accompany suspects and physically arrest them – in abounding cases, afterwards abrogation a mark. Aback they use force, they apperceive how to accommodate acknowledged justification.
Friends who assignment in the bent amends arrangement additionally tend to accept calumniating admiral who characterization their victims crazy or dishonest, according to Thomas.
“He’s a adept manipulator,” Thomas said of an calumniating officer. “He’s a batterer with a PhD.”
And a gun.
The law that prohibits bodies bedevilled of calm abandon from accustomed firearms, accustomed as the Lautenberg Amendment, has been counterproductive aback it comes to brand officers, according to Diane Wetendorf, an Illinois-based adviser who has specialized in officer-involved calm abandon for the accomplished 15 years.
Instead of demography accoutrements abroad from calumniating admiral above the nation, it has fabricated prosecutors – who assignment carefully with cops every day – added allowing with them for abhorrence of ruining their careers, she said.
Take the case of McCrary, now a detective.
On July 14, 1998, McCrary’s then-wife fled in abhorrence to a neighbor’s abode afterwards he threw books and broken the buzz diplomacy aback she approved to alarm 911, cloister annal say. She was six months abundant at the time.
Prosecutors agreed not to accusation McCrary with a abomination as connected as he got counseling and backward out of trouble. The Milwaukee County commune attorney’s appointment has offered that blazon of deal, accustomed as a deferred-prosecution agreement, to at atomic bristles added accustomed Milwaukee brand admiral accused of calm violence, according to the newspaper’s analysis.
But McCrary didn’t alive up to his ancillary of the bargain, according to a arbitrary of the centralized investigation. He didn’t go to therapy.
And in October 1998, he got into addition altercation with his wife. Aback her accessory intervened, McCrary affective the woman by the neck, according to a bent complaint.
“He afraid her, aerial her up off the floor, and started affective her backwards adjoin the advanced door,” the complaint says.
He yelled obscenities at the woman, pushed her out the aperture and threw out her clothes and shoes abaft her, the complaint says. She had scratches on her close and her duke was bleeding.
Because McCrary fell abbreviate of commutual the deferred case deal, prosecutors answerable him with calm violence-related chaotic conduct in affiliation with the July incident. He additionally was answerable with array adjoin his wife’s accessory as a aftereffect of the October fight.
But beneath a abode agreement, the accusation involving his wife was abandoned and the array accusation involving her accessory was bargain to abomination chaotic conduct.
McCrary pleaded no contest. Because he was not bedevilled of a accusation in which his wife was a victim, he was not banned from accustomed a firearm and kept his job.
Milwaukee County Circuit Adjudicator Dominic Amato bedevilled McCrary to a distinct day in jail.
At the sentencing hearing, McCrary apologized and said he accustomed albatross for his actions, according to a transcript.
“I didn’t appetite it to go this far,” he said. “Me and my wife, we absitively that we weren’t action to be together, we should accept aloof beggared afterwards incident.”
McCrary initially didn’t go to counseling because his allowance didn’t awning it, but he afterwards started treatment, his attorney, Steve Kohn, said at the hearing.
McCrary was abeyant from the administration for 15 canicule for breaking the aphorism adjoin actionable laws or ordinances. He did not acknowledge to account requests. His ex-wife beneath to comment. Her accessory could not be reached.
Lovern, arch agent in the commune attorney’s office, said the abode accord in the cousin’s case was done “in accordance with the wishes of the victim.” His accounting account did not abode the accusation involving McCrary’s wife or explain why he was offered deferred case in the aboriginal place.
Domestic abandon injunctions, added frequently accustomed as abstinent orders, additionally don’t accumulate accoutrements abroad from calumniating admiral in Milwaukee – and don’t consistently advance to administration discipline.
Most bodies with abstinent orders adjoin them lose the adapted to acquire firearms. But the Milwaukee Brand Administration allows admiral in that bearings to “check out” their assignment weapons at the alpha of anniversary about-face and acknowledgment them afterward.
That is a connected antecedent of accent for Jill Glidewell, who afresh afar Milwaukee brand Detective Herb Glidewell.
“He said if I anytime told the things he’d done, I’d disappear,” she told the Journal Sentinel.
Nonetheless, she testified in an attack to get a abstinent adjustment adjoin him, account bribery dating aback to 2006.
Milwaukee County Cloister Abettor Dean B. Zemel accepted the abstinent adjustment based on an adventure that occurred Nov. 1, 2008, in which Jill Glidewell – a brand administrator herself – concluded up with a damaged rotator cuff.
The anniversary before, she had told her bedmate she was abundant with their additional child.
“He atrociously attacked me while I was in bed,” she testified later. “He got on top of me. With all his weight, he was acerbic me up and slamming me bottomward as adamantine as he could on the bed, over and over, added than 10 times. I was agreeable for him to stop and get off of me. That it was affliction me. “
She affective the phone, but he yanked it out of her duke and started advance the barking dog with it, she said. Demography the dog and her babyish daughter, she collection to the Commune 6 brand station, barefoot, at 3 a.m.
She was too ashamed to go inside. A acquaintance who was on assignment came out to abundance her, but didn’t advance her to book a report, she said.
Herb Glidewell appealed the commissioner’s accommodation to admission the abstinent order. He denied atrocity at a audition afore Milwaukee County Circuit Adjudicator Francis T. Wasielewski, according to cloister transcripts.
“We argued often, yes,” Herb Glidewell testified. “And I’m abiding on all those dates, we apparently did accept disputes; but never, at one point, ever, was it physical. I’ve never afflicted her, never affected her, hit her, pushed her, any of those things.”
At the end of a two-day hearing, Wasielewski, who has aback retired, larboard the abstinent adjustment in place. It is in aftereffect until 2013. He based his accommodation on medical records, which showed Jill Glidewell approved assay for the accept abrasion and told her doctor it was the aftereffect of calm violence, the transcripts say.
Herb Glidewell is amid seven brand admiral who accept had abstinent orders imposed adjoin them by a commissioner. Of those, three orders were afterwards absolved – two by the women and one by a adjudicator aback the woman didn’t actualization up at an abode hearing.
In addition 11 cases, officers’ spouses or adventurous ally filed for abstinent orders that were not accepted by a abettor in the aboriginal place, either because there was not abundant affirmation or because those who filed for them did not chase through with the cases. One was afterwards accepted by a adjudicator afterwards the victim appealed.
But Herb Glidewell’s attorney, Barry Book, characterized the accountability of affidavit for abstinent orders as acutely low. In the Glidewell case, the law accustomed the abettor and the adjudicator to “err on the ancillary of caution,” he said.
Book said the timing of the appliance for the abstinent adjustment was suspect, aback his applicant was served with it the aforementioned day he active abroad his rights to the couple’s abode in a awaiting divorce.
Jill Glidewell says she would accept done it sooner, but he was out of town. He capital his name off the abode because he already offered to acquirement addition one, she said. Acreage annal aback up her assertion, assuming Herb Glidewell bankrupt on a new abode bristles canicule later.
The advocate additionally questioned Jill Glidewell’s connected assertions of abuse, adage he doubtable she was application them as armament in a advancing aegis battle.
“I do anticipate there are some extenuating diplomacy in this accurate case that alarm Ms. Glidewell’s believability into question,” Book said. “The annulment diplomacy lasted about 21/2 years. It was absolute acerbic from the beginning.”
Nearly two months afore she approved the abstinent order, Jill Glidewell discussed her then-husband’s abuse with centralized affairs, alleging the aforementioned abusage she testified about in court.
After an investigation, the Brand Administration referred the case to the commune attorney’s office. Bounded prosecutors generally analysis cases adjoin Milwaukee brand admiral themselves. But in this case, they asked Chris Freeman, again a Dane County abettor commune attorney, to serve as a appropriate prosecutor.
“The Glidewell case was referred to Dane County due to the actualization of a conflict, although to our knowledge, no absolute battle existed,” Lovern’s accounting account says. It does not say what the perceived battle was.
In a letter to the department, Freeman, who has aback been answer to agent DA, said “three above incidents stood out as arch for charging.” One was the adventure in which Jill Glidewell’s accept was injured. In another, Herb Glidewell affective her by the throat and pushed her into a wall, Jill Glidewell said. The third “was an adventure in which Herb Glidewell started a blaze on a barbecue in advanced of the abode while he was intoxicated,” Freeman’s letter says. “The blaze raged to such a amount that the auto of the barbecue broiled into the pavement.”
To approve her statements, Jill Glidewell provided the medical annal apropos her shoulder, as able-bodied as pictures of bloom on her close and of the broiled grill.
Freeman did not accusation Herb Glidewell with a crime.
“The acumen for the abridgement of accuse does not axis from the acceptance that these contest did not action as Jill Glidewell describes, but that I do accept based on the absoluteness of the almanac and belletrist that this case could not be accepted above a reasonable doubt,” Freeman wrote in the letter, which explained his accommodation to the Brand Department.
Herb Glidewell was not disciplined, and his cadre almanac charcoal spotless.
His ex-wife is balked that he hasn’t been captivated accountable.
“He told me, ‘If you anytime leave me or try to action me, I’ll ruin you,’ ” she said. “Criminals are afforded the adapted to a fair and accelerated trial. Why aren’t victims of calm violence?”
Herb Glidewell primarily works burglaries and robberies, according to Book. He carries his gun while on duty. If the administration anytime asked Glidewell to assignment calm abandon cases, his advocate said that wouldn’t be a problem.
“I anticipate he is able to abstracted his claimed bearings from his able obligations,” Book said. “I accept no catechism in my apperception that if he were to investigate a calm abandon case he would do the adapted thing. If he had to put a dad beneath arrest, he would do it.”
Jill Glidewell said she has never feared a doubtable as abundant as she fears her ex-husband.
“This is the best alarming affair I’ve anytime done,” she said of abrogation him. “I alive in abhorrence every day that addition is action to shoot up my house.”
Police departments that accord calumniating admiral admission to their accoutrements accusation to be acquainted of that possibility, according to Thomas, of Johns Hopkins.
“People anticipate you go on assignment and all of the abrupt there’s a careful absorber about you and you’re not action to do annihilation brainless anymore? It’s aloof ignorant,” he said.
While officers’ attitudes about calm abandon in the affiliation accept acquired over time, best brand about the country still don’t booty it actively aback the perpetrator is one of their own, according to experts. Handling such accusations the aforementioned as any added bent accusation adjoin police, as Milwaukee does, isn’t acceptable enough, experts say.
Because responding admiral can be biased, one of the goals of a archetypal action on officer-involved calm abandon is to aish their discretion, said Thomas, who retired from the Brand Administration in Montgomery County, Md., in 2000. Following accounting guidelines footfall by footfall protects the victim, the investigator and the declared perpetrator, he said.
“If I’m accused of actuality complex in this action and I didn’t do it, I appetite a good, bright all-embracing assay so I can be exonerated,” he said.
That didn’t arise in the case of Lt. David Salazar, a administrator in the Milwaukee police’s Able Accomplishment Division, which investigates atrocity by officers.
After accepting a tip that Salazar’s wife declared 911 during a action with him, the Journal Sentinel fabricated a accessible annal appeal for audio recordings of all calls associated with his home abode and any brand belletrist affiliated with them.
No belletrist were written, according to the department’s response.
The administration provided abandoned a dispatcher’s log of the June 2010 incident, which confirms that Salazar’s wife declared for advice during an altercation over suspicions he was cheating. She told the bagman he was bagged and aggravating to breach bottomward the door.
The bi-weekly requested the advice in August 2010. Three months later, the administration said the recording of the alarm had been aback purged from the system.
Then, in January, the adventure changed.
Department backer Anne E. Schwartz said that actually, the arrangement malfunctioned and no emergency calls were recorded the absolute day Salazar’s wife declared 911.
The administrator declared to the scene, Capt. Aaron Raap, bent Salazar “had not operated a motor vehicle, had not had concrete acquaintance with the addition and did not arise to be intoxicated,” Schwartz said in an email.
Raap absitively an centralized assay was not necessary, and Salazar was not reassigned or acclimatized as a aftereffect of the incident, Schwartz said.
“The assurance was based on Capt. Raap’s years of training and experience,” she said. “Police admiral use their acumen every day in every situation.”
The state’s archetypal action says if no arrests are made, “the on-scene administrator shall abide a accounting abode answer any and all affidavit why an arrest was not fabricated or a accreditation was not sought.”
Allowing admiral to adumbrate abaft acumen in cases such as Salazar’s is “unacceptable,” Thomas said.
“It’s adage we’re aloof not action to advocate the law with our own the way we do with a citizen,” he said. “We should, in law enforcement, be captivated to a college accepted because we’re declared to accomplish the law. . . . Otherwise, it’s the fox watching the henhouse.”
Neither Salazar – who accustomed a assemblage account accolade in 2009 as allotment of the department’s assassination analysis – nor his wife responded to certified belletrist gluttonous comment.
Salazar continues to administer investigations of added admiral accused of wrongdoing.
Officers such as Velez, bedevilled of the advance in the auberge room, abide to investigate calm violence, the newspaper’s assay found. In April alone, Velez responded to calm disputes bristles times – an boilerplate of added than already a week, according to the best contempo annal arise to the newspaper.
That’s addition absolute bucking to the recommendations in the state’s archetypal policy. It’s a compound for antibacterial affiliation aplomb and agreement victims at risk, the action says.
“There are grave apropos apropos how admiral who accomplish the abomination of calm abandon acknowledge to calm abandon calls in the community,” the action says. “Obviously, their claimed conduct affects their adequacy to finer accord with these situations impartially. Moreover, an officer, affectionate to an abuser, may not abundantly assure a victim.”
Munaker, the above Appointment of Amends Assistance trainer, agreed.
“We can’t let abusers investigate this. We aloof can’t,” she said.
Flynn has said angry calm abandon is a antecedence for the department. In February, he formed out a new action to action the problem, targeting echo offenders and calling for greater aegis of common victims.
“A agitated advance is a agitated assault, and that warrants justice,” he told administration admiral at the time.
John Diedrich and Ben Poston of the Journal Sentinel agents contributed to this report.
Citizens who feel they accept been abject by a brand administrator accept two means to book a complaint.
To book with the Blaze and Brand Commission:
Go to allowance 706 of City Hall, 200 E. Wells St., from 8 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. Monday through Friday; alarm (414) 286-5000. Or appointment http://city.milwaukee.gov/fpc/Complaints to download a complaint anatomy or to appearance locations area forms are available.
To book with the Brand Department:
Go to or alarm any commune base and ask for a supervisor; or alarm the Able Accomplishment Analysis at (414) 935-7942. For added information, appointment http://city.milwaukee.gov/Police/CitizenComplaints.htm.
Gina Barton covers bent justice. In 2013, she won a George Polk accolade for her assay into the afterlife of Derek Williams in Milwaukee brand custody.
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