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Father Buys $64,259 Ad Pushing Police To Reopen Investigation Into Son's Death
Michael Bell, Jr. was shot dead by police in 2004.
A dad from Wisconsin spent almost $65,000 so he could run a full-page ad in Tuesday's Washington Post in the hope that police will reconsider reopening an investigation into his son's fatal shooting. Michael Bell Jr., 21, was killed by police in 2004, and his dad doesn’t think there was adequate justice.
According to Fox6, the officers involved in Bell Jr.’s shooting have been cleared of wrongdoing, and Bell’s family received a settlement of almost $2 million. The investigation into the young man’s death took less than a week, NPR reported, and Bell’s father continues to push for more detailed answers and transparency.
According to police reports, Bell was drunk and uncooperative when police pulled him over. A scuffle ensued, and police got control of Bell in his family’s driveway. At one point, officer Erich Strausbaugh yelled, "He has my gun."
Bell’s dad, Michael Bell Sr., told "48 Hours" that the officer was panicked.
“It was a very high pitched, very emotional voice," he said.
Another officer rushed in and shot Bell Jr. in the head. He died just three hours later.
Police later determined the death was "a justifiable homicide," according to CBS News.
Bell’s dad is now pointing to contradictions between what police say happen and what the medical report indicates. For example, police said that Bell was shot in the left side of his head, when medical reports show he was shot from his right side.
The father, still understandably grieving after 13 years, said taking out the ad was the right thing to do.
"Nobody understands what it takes to get to this level, to bring this kind of awareness to it," Bell said. "The best way to describe is that it's my duty."
Several news organizations reached out to the Kenosha Police Department after the ad was taken out, but they have not responded to the media inquiries.
[Photo: Kenosha Police Department]