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Stroebel: Wisconsin AG should lead missing women, girl task force

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(The Center Square) – If there is going to be a task force looking into the murder of African American women and girls in Wisconsin, one Republican lawmaker wants it to work out of the attorney general’s office.

Sen. Duey Stroebel, R-Cedarburg, sent a letter to Attorney General Josh Kaul that asks Kaul to take the lead.

“The Department of Justice, with the breadth of its knowledge on criminal justice matters and investigative needs in Wisconsin, is indeed best positioned to determine the prudence of any task force established under its jurisdiction. Accordingly, I leave it to the Department of Justice to consider the creation of such a task force pursuant to your priorities and discretion,” Stroebel wrote in his letter.

There are new calls for a Missing and Murdered African American Women and Girls Task Force after the death of Sade Robinson. She’s a 19-year-old Milwaukee woman who went missing in early April. Her family says her remains have been found scattered across Milwaukee County, and as far south as Waukegan, Illinois.

There is a suspect in custody in connection to her death.

Stroebel heads the Senate Government Operations Committee, which was the home of legislation that would have created the task force. Stroebel, however, didn’t hold a hearing on the plan.

He instead released it to the full Senate for a vote. That vote never happened.

Storebel explained in his letter to Kaul that the lack of legislative action until January is another reason why the attorney general’s office should take the lead.

“My hesitation to move the bill was further informed by Gov. [Tony] Evers’ repeated demonstration of his aversion to the Legislature overtly directing Executive Branch agencies. AB 615 followed a pattern of bills Gov. Evers vetoed this session. The governor issued several vetoes to protect the discretion of Executive Branch officials,” Stroebel wrote.

Wisconsin’s attorney general created the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women Task Force in 2020.

But a task force from the attorney general requires a specific line item for funding, where as legislative task forces do not.

Robinson’s family and Democratic Rep. Shelia Stubbs, D-Madison, held a press conference to again press Republican lawmakers to do something about a new task force.

“At this point I don’t care that funding is an issue,” Stubbs said. “I want something done now.”

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