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Parisi: Officer-involved-shooting investigation “has not been a transparent process”

Officials release raw video from Madison officer-involved shooting
Officials release raw video from Madison officer-involved shooting
Published: Feb. 21, 2022 at 12:56 PM CST|Updated: Feb. 21, 2022 at 1:26 PM CST
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - Dane Co. Executive Joe Parisi called out his own county’s sheriff’s office Monday morning for the way it handled major revelations in its investigation into the shooting of a suspect near a Madison carpark during an arrest earlier this month.

Just before 5 p.m. on Friday, the Dane Co. Sheriff’s Office, which is investigating the officer-involved-shooting, revealed that investigators have found no evidence the suspect who had been shot, Quadren Wilson, had a gun or any other weapon at the time of his arrest. The Sheriff’s Office also revealed the names of the two Wisconsin Dept. of Justice Division of Criminal Investigation agents who fired their weapons during the incident.

“Unfortunately, the manner in which the most recent information was shared—dropping a press release at the end of the day on Friday—did not provide the news media or the community an opportunity to have some fairly basic questions asked or answered, nor did it instill a sense of confidence in the process,” Parisi wrote in a statement.

The criticism was part of his greater call for more transparency during the process. As a law enforcement agency that was not one of the five agencies involved in the arrest, the Dane Co. Sheriff’s Office is leading the investigation, with the assistance of the Sun Prairie Police Department. So far, he contends, investigators have not been transparent or upfront with the community.

Several hours after Parisi’s statement, Dane Co. Sheriff Kalvin Barrett defended the amount of information that has been released by the Sheriff’s Office so far. He asserted investigators must balance being transparent with protecting the integrity of the investigation, adding that, “doing anything less risks jeopardizing the investigation; denying the community of the truth and accountability they expect and deserve.”

Parisi’s statement noted how most people do not yet know what happened on Feb. 3 near the intersection of American Parkway and East Park Boulevard. He acknowledged that there may be an important reason some of the information has not been released and that it is important to wait for facts to come out before jumping to conclusions. He warned that without offering details and updates openly, all that remains is for people to start filling in the gaps themselves, “and that’s not good for anyone.”

He argued, the public does have the right to ask for some answers and that law enforcement should come forward with answers. Earlier in the statement, he offered some examples, saying, “Many questions about this case remain unanswered, such as what happened and why—why such a massive law enforcement presence and such an apparently violent arrest. And, if there was no weapon, what prompted law enforcement officers to shoot so many times?”

Barrett’s statement Monday afternoon acknowledged that the community has posed questions, and that “inquiries and community expectations of transparency are understandable;” however, he did not address specifically any of the questions posed by Parisi earlier in the day. Additionally, Barrett did not offer an explanation to Parisi’s specific about the Sheriff’s Office choice to release major updates to their investigation at a time in which no one could follow up with any questions.

Twenty-one members of various law agencies participated in Wilson’s arrest that day, including members of the DEA, Wisconsin State Patrol, the Dept. of Natural Resources, and the Madison Police Dept. None of them were wearing body cameras at the time. The two agents who fired their weapons on the scene were identified as DCI Special Agents Mark Wagner and Nathan Peskie. A DOJ spokesperson confirmed with NBC15 that both agents were put on paid administrative leave beginning February 3.

Wilson was wanted on an outstanding Department of Corrections warrant related to a parole violation and was the subject of an ongoing investigation, the Sheriff’s Office stated.

The sheriff’s office stated it would turn over all investigative reports to the Dane Co. District Attorney’s Office when it completes its investigation.

NBC15 News has reached out to the Dane Co. Sheriff’s Office for a response to Parisi’s statement. This story will be updated with an statement when it comes. On Friday, when announcing the new details surrounding Wilson’s arrest, a spokesperson for the department stated, “Sheriff Kalvin Barrett remains committed to conducting a methodical, objective and transparent investigation. The mission of our investigation is to determine the facts and report the truth.”

Almost a week after an officer-involved shooting on Madison’s eastside, new video shows the moments after 38-year-old Quadren Wilson was shot.

Through an open records request, NBC15 Investigates received traffic camera video Thursday from a camera mounted on a traffic pole near the intersection where Wilson was shot near the intersection of American Parkway and East Park Blvd.

When the shooting presumably happened around 8:17 a.m., the camera was facing a different way. Once the camera turns toward the scene around 8:19 a.m., Quadren Wilson’s car is visible. It’s boxed in by four unmarked black trucks. At this point, Wilson is still in his car, but cameras are too far away to know his state or what officers were doing when they are around it.

Madison fire and an ambulance arrive on scene at 8:24 a.m. and you can see a handful of officers working to get Wilson on a stretcher which they eventually carry Wilson to the ambulance. The ambulance leaves the scene about 10 minutes after it arrives with Wilson inside.

Quadren Wilson
Quadren Wilson((WMTV/Jason Rice))

Just hours before the Sheriff’s Office released information on the shooting, Wilson appeared virtually in a Dane Co. court for an initial hearing on a charge that does not appear to be linked to the reason for his arrest. Authorities have not specifically revealed the purpose of the arrest warrant, however the charge for which he was in court on Friday was filed that day and was the result of an investigation by the Dane Co. Sheriff’s Office, which took no part in Wilson’s capture.

The charge, which was filed on Friday, accuses that Quadren Wilson provided the drugs that claimed the man’s life. The criminal complaint alleges a single count of manufacturing and delivering of narcotics, with a repeater enhancer.

During Wilson’s initial court appearance on Friday, in which Wilson could be seen sitting upright during the hearing, Dane Co. Commissioner Jason Hanson noted that the charge related to delivering the drugs, and not the man’s death, when setting Wilson’s bail at $1,000 and ordering him not have contact with the witness cited in the complaint.

He also described the entire complaint as being based on “inference” and said the evidence was “circumstantial.” When setting the bail, which was a fifth of what prosecutors requested, Hanson added that he could not see how he could go any higher.

Wilson had originally been scheduled to appear two days earlier, but that court date was pushed back to the end of the week. Wilson’s attorney stated the change happened because prosecutors were not yet ready.

According to court records, Wilson has one other open case against him in which he is charged with disorderly conduct and unlawful phone use, both of which have domestic abuse assessments. While records show activity in the case as recently as Tuesday, the next court date listed in that matter is on March 28. Dane Co. jail records show he was booked on a probation violation and does not include any other offenses.

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