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Citizens want more info on alleged harassment of local police critic

Brad Williams

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A police investigation into alleged harassment of a citizen on a La Crosse law enforcement committee has left some questions unanswered. 

Joella Striebel resigned last month from the county criminal justice council, saying she had been harassed on Facebook by members of a local police union. 

At a justice council meeting last week, three speakers called on police to reveal more of what they found in the investigation of the matter.

Leah Hoover says law enforcement leaders damaged relationships with community members. “Law enforcement leaders created a climate of fear and distrust,” she said.   La Crosse’s police chief apologized to Striebel for the social media posts from the union. 

The speakers argued that an impartial investigation is necessary.   “Did the police department, I would like to know, choose their own judge and jury,” asked Laura Wright. “How, as a citizen, am I to trust this investigation?”      

A post on a police union Facebook page reportedly included pictures from Striebel’s own social media postings.  Striebel had been involved in organizing a law enforcement oversight committee.   

A native of Prairie du Chien, Brad graduated from UW - La Crosse and has worked in radio news for more than 30 years, mostly in the La Crosse area. He regularly covers local courts and city and county government. Brad produces the features "Yesterday in La Crosse" and "What's Buried on Brad's Desk." He also writes the website "Triviazoids," which finds odd connections between events that happen on a certain date, and he writes and performs with the local comedy group Heart of La Crosse. Brad been featured on several national TV programs because of his memory skills.