Police allegedly failed to confront abuser

Nov. 1, 2012 at 4:31 PM
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MADISON, Wis., Nov. 1 (UPI) -- Police did not follow state guidelines on domestic violence cases before an alleged abuser killed his wife and two other women, Wisconsin legislators say.

A group of a dozen lawmakers released a letter Wednesday to Brown Deer Police Chief Steven Rinzel, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported. They called for an independent investigation of the police department's response.

Radcliffe Haughton took his own life Oct. 21 after his shooting spree at the Azana Salon & Spa where his wife worked. Four women were wounded.

The Journal Sentinel reported police had come to the Haughton home at least seven times on domestic violence calls, but he was never arrested. Rinzel has said Zina Haughton did not cooperate with officers -- which legislators said amounts to blaming the victim.

"Your department's duty to uphold the law should not, and does not, hinge on the actions of the victim. You must stop implying that the victim was to blame for the failure of your department to make an arrest, and for the sake of other victims in Brown Deer and throughout Wisconsin, you must correct your inaccurate and damaging statements," the lawmakers' letter said. "Given both the flagrant nature of the errors and your department's inaccurate and counterproductive public response, we believe you must open the department's actions, policies and practices for a thorough and independent evaluation."

The letter was signed by 10 Democrats and two Republicans.

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