Criminal Justice

Image courtesy of the City of Waukesha Facebook page

Baldwin, Johnson issue joint press release against politicizing Waukesha

BY: - November 29, 2021

In a rare joint effort, Sens. Tammy Baldwin and Ron Johnson issued a press release Saturday afternoon calling on outside groups not to “exploit the tragedy … in Waukesha for their own political purposes.” “We have full confidence in the local officials who responded with extraordinary professionalism, competence, integrity and compassion,” the senators added. “They […]

COMMENTARY
Ahmaud Arbery’s mother, Wanda Cooper-Jones his hugged by a supporter after the jury convicted Travis McMichael in the trial of McMichael, his father, Greg McMichael, and neighbor, William “Roddie” Bryan, Wednesday at Glynn County Courthouse. The three defendants were found guilty Wednesday in the death of Ahmaud Arbery. AP Photo/Stephen B. Morton, Pool

Bookman: Guilty verdicts in Arbery killing give no pleasure, only relief

BY: - November 26, 2021

There’s no pleasure to be taken from the guilty verdicts returned Wednesday by a Glynn County jury in the murder of Ahmaud Arbery; there is only relief and thanksgiving that in the end justice could be done, at least in a case in which the evidence was so well-documented and seemingly obvious. Given that they […]

Police tape with red and blue lights blurred from behind it.

$5 million bail set for man accused of Waukesha Christmas Parade killings

BY: - November 24, 2021

Darrell Brooks Jr., 39, the man arrested for driving his SUV into a Christmas parade in Waukesha Sunday, killing at least five people and injuring dozens, according to initial reports, made his first court appearance following the incident in Waukesha on Tuesday. During the appearance  prosecutors reported that a sixth death had occurred when a […]

COMMENTARY
Image courtesy of the City of Waukesha Facebook page

After Waukesha Christmas parade massacre, trying to make sense of senseless violence

BY: - November 23, 2021

State Rep. Sara Rodriguez (D-Brookfield) was marching in the Christmas parade on Sunday afternoon with the Waukesha County Democrats and had just reached the end of the parade route when the crowd came surging up behind her. People were screaming and running from a red SUV that broke through police barricades and barreled into the […]

Bell's notebooks

Governor’s office rejects plea for investigation of attorney general

BY: - November 23, 2021

The chief lawyer for Gov. Tony Evers has told Michael Bell of Kenosha that the governor lacks the power to act on Bell’s complaint targeting Attorney General Josh Kaul in connection with the 2004 police killing of Bell’s son. Bell urged Evers in late October to investigate Kaul because, Bell said, the attorney general had […]

Police tape with red and blue lights blurred from behind it.

Tragedy in Waukesha

BY: - November 22, 2021

Five people are dead and more than 40 injured after an SUV plowed through the crowd at the Waukesha Christmas parade Sunday afternoon.  Waukesha schools were closed for the day on Monday, with additional school counselors available at all school buildings for students who needed support. “At this time we are working with the police […]

COMMENTARY
KENOSHA, WISCONSIN - NOVEMBER 05: Kyle Rittenhouse looks back as the late Anthony Huber's great aunt, Susan Hughes, enters the courtroom during his trial at the Kenosha County Courthouse on November 5, 2021 in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Rittenhouse is accused of shooting three demonstrators, killing two of them, during a night of unrest that erupted in Kenosha after a police officer shot Jacob Blake seven times in the back while being arrested in August 2020. Rittenhouse, from Antioch, Illinois, was 17 at the time of the shooting and armed with an assault rifle. He faces counts of felony homicide and felony attempted homicide. (Photo by Sean Krajacic-Pool/Getty Images)

Rittenhouse verdict flies in the face of legal standards for self-defense

BY: - November 22, 2021

In a two-week trial that reignited debate over self-defense laws across the nation, a Wisconsin jury acquitted Kyle Rittenhouse for shooting three people, two fatally, during a racial justice protest in Kenosha. The Wisconsin jury believed Rittenhouse’s claims that he feared for his life and acted in self-defense after he drove about 20 miles from […]

KENOSHA, WISCONSIN - NOVEMBER 10: Kyle Rittenhouse becomes emotional describing events leading up to the shooting of Joseph Rosenbaum as he testifies during his trial at the Kenosha County Courthouse on November 10, 2021 in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Rittenhouse shot three demonstrators, killing two of them, during a night of unrest that erupted in Kenosha after a police officer shot Jacob Blake seven times in the back while police attempted to arrest him in August 2020. Rittenhouse, from Antioch, Illinois, was 17 at the time of the shooting and armed with an assault rifle. He faces counts of felony homicide and felony attempted homicide. (Photo by Mark Hertzberg-Pool/Getty Images)

Jury finds Rittenhouse not guilty on all counts

BY: - November 19, 2021

Kyle Rittenhouse, the white teenager who shot three people, killing two of them, during Black Lives Matter protests in downtown Kenosha, was found not guilty of all the charges against him on Friday. The Kenosha County jury in the Rittenhouse murder trial found that Rittenhouse acted in self-defense when he fatally shot Joseph Rosenbaum and […]

COMMENTARY
Protesters and the family of Jacob Blake hold a candle light vigil in Kenosha on Jan. 4, 2021. (Photo by Isiah Holmes)

Waiting for the Rittenhouse verdict as the world falls apart

BY: - November 19, 2021

While waiting for the verdict in the Kyle Rittenhouse murder trial, I stepped out to visit the principal at my kids’ high school — the same school I attended, Madison East. East has been in the local news a lot lately for a series of rowdy protests and fights, including a recent melee in which […]

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Bell buys N.Y. Times ad to put pressure on Evers, Kaul

BY: - November 17, 2021

Continuing his push for a new investigation of his son’s death 17 years ago at the hands of Kenosha police officers, Michael M. Bell has purchased a two-page New York Times ad scheduled to run in Wednesday’s edition of the newspaper. The ad includes a reproduction of the letter that Bell, a Kenosha resident, delivered […]

photo of three leaves from a marijuana pot plant an a vial of oil

Bipartisan bill to reduce cannabis fines introduced

BY: - November 17, 2021

Wisconsin legislators are taking another crack at a bipartisan push to achieve cannabis reform in the state. A new piece of legislation, co-authored by Rep. Shae Sortwell (R-Gibson), Rep. Sylvia Ortiz-Valez (D-Milwaukee), Sen. Lena Taylor (D-Milwaukee) and Sen. Kathleen Bernier (R- Chippewa Falls), reduces existing penalties for cannabis possession. Possession under current law can lead […]

KENOSHA, WISCONSIN - NOVEMBER 02: Kyle Rittenhouse listens as his attorneys speak to the judge during his trial at the Kenosha County Courthouse on November 2, 2021 in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Rittenhouse shot three demonstrators, killing two of them, during a night of unrest that erupted in Kenosha after a police officer shot Jacob Blake seven times in the back while police attempted to arrest him in August 2020. Rittenhouse, from Antioch, Illinois, was 17 at the time of the shooting and armed with an assault rifle. He faces counts of felony homicide and felony attempted homicide. (Photo by Sean Krajacic -Pool/Getty Images)

Closing arguments and jury deliberations in Kyle Rittenhouse trial

BY: - November 16, 2021

In Monday’s closing arguments in the trial of 18-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse, the key question before the jury was whether Rittenhouse, who shot two people and wounded a third, was acting in self-defense. In Wisconsin, a person can’t use deadly force unless the person “reasonably believes he or she has exhausted every other reasonable means to […]