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“I lost a son:” After 2004 fatal officer-involved shooting, father asks that case be reopened, alleging cover-up

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KENOSHA -- The father of a man killed by Kenosha police is trying to get the Kenosha County Sheriff's Department to take another look at his son's case.

Michael Bell believes there's a cover-up within the Kenosha Police Department concerning his son's death, but even after a heartfelt plea, the board is unlikely to get involved.

Michael Bell

"I lost a son..." Michael Bell said.

Among public comments at the Kenosha County Board of Supervisors' meeting Tuesday night, September 5th, Bell approached the podium with a big request.

"I'm entitled to know the truth about what happened to him. I'm asking this body to assist me in finding out the truth," Bell said.

Bell's son, Michael Bell Jr. was killed by a Kenosha police officer in 2004. The police department cleared its officers of any wrongdoing, and Bell eventually reached a nearly $2 million settlement with the city. He used that money to fund a billboard campaign about officer-involved shootings. He believes the officer shot his son, thinking Bell Jr. grabbed the officer's gun, and is submitting new documents to the county that Bell thinks point to a cover-up.

Michael Bell Jr.

Michael Bell Jr.

Michael Bell Jr.

"The officer involved hooked his gun, accidentally, felt a tugging and screamed 'he's got my gun' and killed my son," Bell said.

Michael Bell

Ten years after the death, Bell's efforts for change paid off as Governor Scott Walker signed into law a bill that requires an outside agency to lead the investigation into police-involved deaths. He's asking the same be done for his son, requesting the Kenosha County Board of Supervisors to pass a resolution to ask Kenosha County Sheriff David Beth to reopen the case.

Kimberly Breunig

"We set county policy. We don't really get involved in the sheriff's department, of what they do," Kimberly Breunig, county board chairwoman said.

Breunig listened to Bell's request, but the board likely won't take up the matter as an official resolution.

"My next step would be to suggest that he do petition the DOJ. Maybe they can reopen it for him," Breunig said.

FOX6 News reached out to the police department for comment but we did not hear back.

A spokesman for the sheriff said the department received paperwork submitted by Bell, but the sheriff hasn't yet made a determination to reopen the case.

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