October 25, 2014

Madison officer subject of additional investigations

Madison Police are investigating three separate allegations involving an officer who has been cleared of wrongdoing in the November shooting of an unarmed man. All three alleged incidents occurred prior to the shooting, and originated from complaints within the department.

At a Friday press conference, MPD Chief Noble Wray said police found out about one alleged incident involving Officer Stephen Heimsness prior to the officer-involved shooting which killed 30 year-old Paul Heenan. The two other alleged incidents came to light after the Heenan shooting.

Wray said none of the newly revealed complaints involved use of excessive force, but would not address any specifics on the incidents, which he said remain under investigation. He did say that he found preliminary information to be troubling.

Heimsness is still on administrative leave after the November shooting, and Wray, who also released a letter to the community, said Heimsness has received threats.

Also Friday, Wray confirmed that the U.S. Department of Justice is conducting its own investigation into the death of Heenan. U.S. Attorney John Vaudreuil asked for the probe, after his office received dozens of letters asking for an independent review.