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.

DNR PFAS Graphic

PFAS action plan is first step

By: - December 17, 2020

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) released a statewide PFAS Action Plan on Wednesday, making Wisconsin one of only a handful of states to come up with such a plan. Nearly 20 state agencies and the University of Wisconsin System contributed to the action plan, as did months of public listening sessions on the […]

Black Lives Matter protesters gather and march to the Milwaukee City Hall. Many called for the removal of Milwaukee police Chief Alfonso Morales. (Photo | Isiah Holmes)

What’s next for Milwaukee after COPS Grant rejected?

By: - December 17, 2020

Milwaukee rejected the $9.7 million federal COPS Grant, which would have funded 30 new police officers. Mayor Tom Barrett expressed dismay at the city council’s decision to turn back the funds. Meanwhile, activists embraced the decision and continue to call for a divestment from police and a reinvestment in community needs. Vaun Mayes, a local […]

Protesters, activists, and residents gather to march on the DNC in Milwaukee Wisconsin, August 20th. (Photo by Isiah Holmes)

Activists see increased consciousness of race and class following 2020 election

By: - December 16, 2020

Following the 2020 presidential election, activists and organizers are planning how best to confront some of the tactics used by the Trump campaign to cast doubt on the election’s results. “The core insight that we really are working from here,” says Doran Schrantz, executive director of Faith in Minnesota, “is a recognition that the right-wing […]

National Guard soldiers during the curfew in Wauwatosa during 2020. (Photo | Isiah Holmes)

Tosa ‘Special Operations Group’ worked alongside U.S. Marshals during curfew

By: - December 15, 2020

U.S. Marshals were on the ground in Wauwatosa during the city’s curfew and emergency declaration in October, according to Wauwatosa Police. The city’s emergency order brought numerous law enforcement agencies from across the state, as well as National Guard troops, to the suburban streets. The Marshals worked alongside the Special Operations Group (SOG), a small […]

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. […]