Isiah Holmes

Isiah Holmes

Isiah Holmes is a journalist and videographer, and a lifelong resident of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. His writing has been featured in Urban Milwaukee, Isthmus, Milwaukee Stories, Milwaukee Neighborhood News Services, Pontiac Tribune, the Progressive Magazine, Al Jazeera, and other outlets.

ILEETA Training Document

International police association with deep Wisconsin ties spreads claim that BLM activists are ‘terrorists’

By: and - December 14, 2020

An international law enforcement association sent a research document to thousands of members this fall that called Black Lives Matter protesters “terrorists” who work with gangs and drug cartels to engage in “urban guerrilla” warfare.  That organization, the International Law Enforcement Educators and Trainers Association (ILEETA), has deep ties to Wisconsin law enforcement — including […]

A Wauwatosa police squad. (Photo | Isiah Holmes)

Wauwatosa police shooting rekindles tensions in suburb

By: - December 11, 2020

A fresh officer-involved-shooting in Wauwatosa drew questions and protest overnight on Dec. 10. Right in the heart of the Wauwatosa village, which is sometimes called the city’s downtown area, the shooting involved a woman who was later taken to the hospital. Wauwatosa officers responded to a reported fight between two women. Police stated that one […]

Hands grabbing steel green bars

Hunger strikes and other tactics emerge from Wisconsin prisons

By: - December 11, 2020

If you’re in prison, it’s not just the likelihood of being exposed to COVID-19 that weighs on you. While you wait to see whether you’ll develop symptoms, there isn’t much else to do. As part of the Department of Corrections (DOC) strategy to limit the virus’ spread among incarcerated people, many things which may have […]

Police block a road during the October Wauwatosa curfew, after having just shot rubber bullets and tear gas at protesters and their cars. (Photo | Isiah Holmes)

When police data extraction meets Black Lives Matter protests

By: - December 8, 2020

“It was shocking really,” Attorney Lee Schuchart told Wisconsin Examiner, as he recalled grappling with the implications of how police had extracted data from his client’s cell phone, saved it for two months after closing their investigation, and then passed it off to another agency. “It was chilling, it was mind-blowing. I don’t think anybody […]

Hands grasping bars in jail or prison

Is Wisconsin’s pandemic prison population going down quickly enough?

By: - December 7, 2020

Granting compassionate release and clemency remains a focal point issue for incarceration activists across the state. Wisconsin’s rate of COVID-19 infection remains stubbornly high, and those held in its prisons are particularly vulnerable. According to the Department of Corrections (DOC), 14 incarcerated people have died of causes related to COVID-19. Over 7,900 in all have […]

Young caucasian man wearing sweater arrested for possession of illegal marijuana drugs holding a bag of marijuana and a green cannabis leaf. Getty Royalty free

House of Representatives passes cannabis decriminalization

By: - December 4, 2020

The U.S. House of Representatives is experiencing a milestone moment with the passage of a Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement (MORE) Act. The legislation aims to end the federal prohibition on cannabis, which has also contributed to systemic racial injustice. “Passage of the MORE Act in the House charts a path to repair and redress […]

Protesters marching and gathering in Milwaukee during the first day of demonstrations. (Photo by Isiah Holmes)

Emails raise questions about the independence of police shooting investigations

By: - December 3, 2020

In the Milwaukee area, investigations into police shootings are handled by a network of detectives, supervisors, and other personnel from every nearby municipality. Dubbed the Milwaukee Area Investigative Team (MAIT), it replaced the state Division of Criminal Investigations (DCI) in 2016 as the main entity handling the area’s officer-involved shootings. Rather than requesting help from […]

Wauwatosa Police Department squad cars responding during a standoff with protesters on July 7, 2020. (Photo by Isiah Holmes)

Tosa PD found ‘significant training issues’ in the Anderson shooting

By: - December 1, 2020

“I have identified two significant training issues regarding this incident,” reads a version of the Wauwatosa Police Department (WPD) administrative review of Jay Anderson’s shooting by the Officer Joseph Mensah, who resigned on Nov. 30. The review, conducted by supervisors within the department, is part of a trove of emails obtained through recent open records requests. […]

The email, with a personal phone number redacted, sent from John Milotzky in 2016. The email was sent two days after Officer Mensah was cleared of the Jay Anderson shooting. (Photo by Isiah Holmes)

ACLU calls Tosa PD discussion of high records fees ‘unlawful’

By: - November 25, 2020

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Wisconsin has issued a series of statements condemning an internal email sent by personnel at the Wauwatosa Police Department (WPD) in 2016. Sent from Detective John Milotzky, who also serves as president of the Wauwatosa Peace Officers Association (WPOA), the email discusses the possibility of charging high fees […]

Voters wait outside Washington High School in Milwaukee to be led in to vote. (Photo by Isiah Holmes)

Advocates say the recount is part of a pattern of undervaluing minority votes

By: - November 25, 2020

As Milwaukee and Dane County head into day six of the vote recount, local officials remain confident that the election’s outcome will remain the same. Still, voters and citizens in Wisconsin’s most diverse counties express disappointment at being targeted for a recount and unsubstantiated allegations of fraud. Angelito Tenorio, a City of West Allis alderman […]

The email, with a personal phone number redacted, sent from John Milotzky in 2016. The email was sent two days after Officer Mensah was cleared of the Jay Anderson shooting. (Photo by Isiah Holmes)

Internal email suggests Tosa PD use high fees to ‘combat’ records requests

By: - November 23, 2020

The investigation into the second fatal shooting involving Wauwatosa police officer Joseph Mensah was over, and people had filed open records requests for Mensah’s personnel file. Then, two days after the shooting was cleared by the District Attorney’s office, Milotzky would send out a telling email. “I spoke with Attny. Cermele about it,” John Milotzky, […]

Officer Joseph Mensah (Photo | Wauwatosa PD)

Officer Mensah’s resignation raises questions, invigorates ongoing protests

By: - November 23, 2020

Joseph Mensah is set to resign from the Wauwatosa Police Department (WPD), but the movement calling for the department to be held accountable for its policies continues to push for change. Mensah, who’s been involved in three fatal police shootings over the past five years, agreed to resign after finalizing a separation agreement with the […]