A Wisconsin police officer who shot and killed a Kenosha man on March 14 was allowed back on active duty while he was still under investigation for another shooting that occurred just 10 days prior, BuzzFeed News has learned.
On March 14, Kenosha Police Officer Pablo Torres was on his first day back on duty with the Kenosha Police Dept. when he shot and killed 26-year-old Aaron Siler.
Police said that Siler was killed when he tried to evade arrest in his car, before crashing and using a weapon to confront officers who had chased him on foot.
"When the suspect was confronted by Officer Pablo Torres, the suspect armed himself with a weapon," Kenosha police Lt. Brad Hetlet said. "Officer Torres fired his handgun striking and killing the suspect. There were citizen witnesses to the incident."
Police have not specified exactly what Siler was armed with when he was killed.
The March 14 killing of Siler was the second fatal, officer-involved shooting in Wisconsin in just over a week, following the death of 19-year-old Tony Robinson on March 6.
Torres was on his first day back at work after taking leave and receiving training following an incident on March 4 in which he shot a man who advanced on officers with knives, Hetlet said.
The Department of Justice confirmed to BuzzFeed News that the Wisconsin Department of Criminal Investigations' outside investigation into the March 4 shooting was still open at the time that Torres returned to active duty on March 14.
"The March 4 investigation remains open," Anne E. Schwartz, spokesperson for the state's attorney general, told BuzzFeed News.
Asked if this standard practice for an officer to return to active duty before a shooting investigation was complete, Schwartz said, "That's a policy/procedure question for the Police Department to answer. Our purview is the investigation."
BuzzFeed News is awaiting further comment from Kenosha police.
According to a new bill signed into law by Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker in April 2014, all officer-involved shootings in the state are required to be investigated by an outside agency — not the department where the officer(s) involved work.
Michael Hayes is a senior reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
Contact Mike Hayes at email@example.com.
David Mack is a reporter and weekend editor for BuzzFeed News in New York.
Contact David Mack at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Got a confidential tip? Submit it here.