Help the Examiner get records from the Kenosha Police

By: - March 21, 2021 9:33 pm
Sunshine week for open records

By EFF Photos | Flickr CC BY 2.0

Sunshine Week is over, but the Examiner’s investigations go on throughout the year. Wisconsin’s open records law is meant to allow for members of the public and the press to hold government officials accountable. Sometimes, as we have reported, those officials fight transparency, using a variety of tactics to keep information hidden.

Often, government agencies charge high prices or stall for months before releasing records. That’s why we’re turning to you, our readers, to help us get records we have been requesting for six months.

Last week during Sunshine Week, a celebration of open records and government transparency across the country, the Wisconsin Examiner highlighted a number of ways our reporters have used public records to break news about the biggest stories in Wisconsin.

A public records request led to the revelation that 15 state legislators had sent a letter to then-Vice President Mike Pence requesting that he overturn the results of the presidential election on Jan. 6.

Another request uncovered the fact that Wauwatosa Police had put the city’s own mayor on a list of “high value targets” for his response to protests in the suburb.

Last November, an open records request revealed that the Wauwatosa Police Department was charging exorbitant amounts for searches as a way to deter requests for documents and information.

In September reporters sent an extensive request for documents and communications related to the August shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha as well as the police response to protests and the handling of white militia members in the city.

After six months of delay, the department responded on March 11, saying it would charge $85/hour for the search.

Help the Wisconsin Examiner find out what happened in those early and intense days in Kenosha last summer. For every $85 raised, the Examiner can pay for one more hour of searching.


In addition to financially supporting the quest for public records, if you have a tip or information about what records we should request, send an email to our reporters. Journalists can’t be in all places at once. We want to hear from you.

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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.