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GET BREAKING NEWS AT TRIBLIVE.COM Vol. 128 · No. 40 · 11 sections · 140 pages

Nate Hamilton,
whose brother,
Dontre,
was shot 14
times by a
Milwaukee
police officer
in 2014, visits
a memorial for
Dontre in the
park where he
was killed.
TRIBUNE REVIEW
GUY WATHEN | TRIBUNE-REVIEW

A Trib investigation of civil rights complaints
found federal prosecutors often let

COPS OFF THE HOOK

by bRIAN bOWLING ANd ANdREW CONTE

Federal prosecutors declined to pursue civil rights allegations against law enforcement
officers 96 percent of the time since 1995, a Tribune-Review investigation found.
The Trib spent six months analyzing nearly 3 million federal records on how the Justice De- Federal
partment and its 94 U.S. Attorney offices handled criminal complaints against law enforcement

justice officers from 1995 through 2015. The records include matters referred to Justice by the FBI and andstate
FOR some
other agencies and those it opened on its own.
For all other crimes, prosecutors rejected only about 23 percent of complaints.
governments
havenot
MORE AT TribLIVE.com
The most frequent reasons cited for declining
civil rights complaints involving officers: weak
response to the Trib’s findings.
The 12,703 potential civil rights violations succeededin
» An interactive map showing
prosecution and declination rates
or insufficient evidence, lack of criminal intent
required under a 1945 Supreme Court ruling stan-
turned down nationwide out of 13,233 total
complaints from 1995-2015 include high-profile deterringpolice
» Trib photojournalist Guy
Wathen’s video story of fatal
dard, and orders from the Justice Department.
“This is an area, quite honestly, where the
incidents in Ferguson, Mo., Chicago and New York
City — but also thousands of incidents the public misconduct.
police-involved shooting in
Milwaukee
feds need to be bolder and put greater resources
in,” said Craig Futterman, a law professor who
knows little about. The case data do not identify
defendants or victims. Iwouldsaythe
founded the Civil Rights and Police Accountability
» Dashcam video of fatal
police-involved shooting
Project at the University of Chicago. “... Indeed,
“It is a difficult situation for the legal system in
general,” Mel Johnson, assistant U.S. attorney for legalsystem
the failure to aggressively bring those cases has
in Seattle allowed too many abusive officers to believe that
civil rights cases in the Eastern District of Wis-
consin, told a Trib reporter in Milwaukee. “Fed- hasawaytogo.”
they can operate without fear of punishment.”
COMING MONDAY The Justice Department takes “any allegation
eral and state governments have not succeeded in
deterring police misconduct. I would say the legal MelJohnson,U.S.attorney
» Law enforcement civil rights of law enforcement misconduct seriously and will
cases in Western Pennsylvania review those allegations when they are brought to
system has a way to go.” forcivilrightscasesinthe
and the impact of video our attention,” spokeswoman Dena Iverson said in CIVIL RIGHTS · A6 EasternDistrictofWisconsin

For Kasich, Rubio, it’s ISIS launches chemical attacks
win home state or bust Northern Iraq town hit by barrage
of rockets; hundreds hurt in strikes Labeling crimes
» Secretary of State John
GOP candidates hope ASSOCIATED PRESS Kerry is nearing a decision
on whether to declare that
to keep bids alive BAGHDAD — The Islamic State group Islamic State atrocities
against religious minorities
has launched two chemical attacks near
in winner-take-all the northern Iraqi city of Kirkuk, killing a constitute genocide. A3
Ohio, Fla. primaries 3-year-old girl, wounding about 600 people
and causing hundreds to flee, Iraqi officials
by TOM FONTAINE said Saturday.
ANd SALENA ZITO “What the Daesh terrorist gangs did in the Wais said his daughter appeared to be doing
city of Taza will not go unpunished,” Iraqi better the next day, so they took her home.
The Republican presi- Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said, using “But by midnight, she started to get worse.
dential race faces its most an alternative acronym for the group also Her face puffed up, and her eyes bulged,” he
pivotal moment since it known as ISIS or ISIL, during a meeting with said. “Then, she turned black, and pieces of
began a year ago. village elders in the small town of Taza. “The her skin started to come off.”
Winner-take-all prima- perpetrators will pay dearly.” By the next morning, Fatima had died, Wais
ries in Ohio and Florida Security and hospital officials say the latest said.
STEPHANIE STRASBURG | TRIBUNE-REVIEW
on Tuesday could whittle attack took place early Saturday in Taza, which The hundreds of wounded are suffering
the once-crowded field of 17 Volunteers make campaign calls for Ohio Gov. John was struck by a barrage of rockets carrying from infected burns, suffocation and dehydra-
candidates to two. Kasich on Tuesday before he addresses a crowd of chemicals three days earlier. tion, said Helmi Hamdi, a nurse at the Taza
Ohio Gov. John Kasich supporters in Columbus. Sameer Wais, whose daughter Fatima was hospital. He said eight people were transferred
and U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio killed in the attack, is a member of a Shiite to Baghdad for treatment.
of Florida campaigned al- ably time for me to go home,” militia fighting ISIS in Kirkuk province. He
More politics “There is fear and panic among the women
most exclusively in their Kasich, a McKees Rocks na- said he was on duty at the frontline when and children,” said Adel Hussein, an official in
home states over the past tive, told the Tribune-Review. » Trump’s raucous the attack occurred early in the morning. He Taza. “They’re calling for the central govern-
week in a frenzied attempt “The plan is to win Ohio.” rallies have devolved quickly ran home and said he could still smell ment to save them.”
to keep their long-shot presi- Kasich has won the few- during the past two the chemicals in the rocket. Hussein said a German and American
dential bids alive and slow est delegates in the four- weeks. Rivals condemn “We took her to the clinic, and they said that forensics team arrived in the area to test for
Donald Trump. man race, with 54. Rubio violence, “toxic environ- she needed to go to a hospital in Kirkuk. And
the presence of chemical agents.
“If I don’t win Ohio and ment.” Stories, A8 that’s what we did, we brought her here to the
Trump does, then it’s prob- PRIMARIES · A8 hospital in Kirkuk,” he said. ISIS · A7