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Paul Heenan

Paul Heenan, 30, was shot three times by Madison police Officer Stephen Heimsness after an altercation on South Baldwin Street in the early morning hours of Nov. 9.

A crowd of about 200 gathered outside the City-County Building on Saturday calling for further investigation into the shooting death of local musician Paul Heenan by a Madison police officer.

Heenan, 30, was shot three times by Officer Stephen Heimsness after an altercation on South Baldwin Street in the early morning hours of Nov. 9.

Heimsness was exonerated following an internal investigation and returned to patrol duty. The results of the investigation were released earlier in the week, finding that Heimsness did not violate department policies on the use of deadly force.

That determination has led to calls from Heenan's family and friends for an independent investigation and was a primary motivation for Saturday's rally.

"We're focused on an independent review of this incident," said Sam Stevenson, rally organizer and friend of the Heenan family. "And also establishing an independent review mechanism in the police department to review instances of lethal and excessive force by police officers, with a retroactive capacity to go back and look at this case as well and make recommendations from an unbiased perspective.

"I think that is what is most necessary and urgent to begin the healing process with the community. I don't believe the community at large can really trust the Madison Police Department as much as we deserve to until policies change," Stevenson said.

He said the group will continue to press its case with local officials.

"This is the beginning, not the end," he said. "There are a number of elected officials, including the mayor, that are very serious about this issue, understand its gravity and understand the very real concerns that members of community have."

Meanwhile, the Heenan family was scheduled to meet Sunday with the family of Mike Bell, who was shot to death by a Kenosha police officer on Nov. 9, 2004.

Bell's family was awarded $1.75 million in a settlement with the city of Kenosha and has been using that money to campaign for closer scrutiny of police shootings.

Michael Bell Sr., the victim's father, has set aside $20,000 for the Heenan family to buy billboard space, newspaper ads and television commercials to push for an independent review of the shooting.

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