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Milwaukee officials against bill criminalizing intoxicated co-sleeping

Child sleeping (Photo by: Daniel Dwase/Wikimedia Commons).
Child sleeping (Photo by: Daniel Dwase/Wikimedia Commons).

MILWAUKEE (WTAQ) - Two Milwaukee officials say they have problems with a state bill that makes it a felony to kill or injure a baby when sleeping with the infant while intoxicated. 

Assembly Republican Samantha Kerkman of Powers Lake proposed the measure, saying it would adults accountable when putting babies at risk. She proposed the bill after Milwaukee recorded five unsafe sleeping deaths since the beginning of September. 

Mayor Tom Barrett said it would be better to educate residents about the problem -- and he kicked off a campaign Wednesday to do just that. Firefighters will become involved in the effort for the first time. 

The Milwaukee County medical examiner's office has investigated 12 deaths this year involving unsafe sleeping conditions. 

Medical examiner Brian Peterson says that if parents face the prospect of criminal charges, they'll be likely to hide some of the details of how their babies died so they don't incriminate themselves.

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