Criminal Justice

To close, or not to close Waupun’s prison

BY: - February 12, 2021

The state’s Assembly Committee on Corrections had an opportunity to review the progress of the Department of Corrections (DOC) under the leadership of Secretary Kevin Carr, who was appointed by Gov. Tony Evers in Jan. 2019. At a committee meeting on Feb. 10, members applauded the department for having endured the COVID-19 pandemic and expanding […]

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

‘We are late to the pot party here in Wisconsin’

BY: - February 11, 2021

Gov. Tony Evers says proposal for cannabis legalization would generate $165 million and help underserved communities

Hands grasping bars in jail or prison

Senate bill boosts addiction treatment, Medicaid coverage for prisoners before release

BY: - February 10, 2021

A bipartisan bill to be introduced Wednesday would allow prisoners to get addiction treatment covered by Medicaid starting 30 days before their release from jail or prison. The bipartisan measure, coauthored by Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), would create an exception to a federal law that bars virtually all federal health coverage for prisoners. Joining Baldwin […]

Wauwatosa Police Chief Barry Weber. (Photo by Isiah Holmes)

Policing Wauwatosa after Chief Barry Weber

BY: - February 10, 2021

Some people were surprised when Barry Weber announced on Feb. 1 that he is retiring as chief of the Wauwatosa Police Department (WPD) in June. After holding the post for more than 30 years, Weber’s departure confronts residents with the prospect of envisioning life in the post-Weber era, particularly as the police department and community […]

Burnett County prosecutor faces felony charges for secretly recording sex with defendants

BY: - February 9, 2021

A Burnett County Assistant District Attorney is facing three felony charges for secretly recording sex acts with women his office was in the process of prosecuting.  Daniel Steffen, 50, recorded himself having sex with two women in his Polk County home in 2018, according to the criminal complaint. On Friday, Steffen was charged in Polk […]

Several newly-deployed body cameras and batteries sit in the patrol room charging and downloading video at the West Valley City Police Department on March 2, 2015 in West Valley City, Utah. West Valley City Police Department has issued 190 Taser Axon Flex body cameras for all it's sworn officers to wear starting today

Where in Wisconsin are police interactions on video?

BY: - February 9, 2021

Less than half of Wisconsin law enforcement agencies equip officers with both body and dashboard cameras, according to survey data from the Wisconsin Department of Justice (DOJ). Of the agencies that responded to the survey, nearly a quarter use only dash cams and 12% don’t use cameras at all.  When mapped, the data reveals large […]

Kenosha County Jail

Rittenhouse disappears, prosecutors seek to rearrest and increase bond

BY: - February 4, 2021

Kenosha County prosecutors sought an arrest warrant and filed to increase the bond of an Illinois teen accused of killing two and wounding another at protests in Kenosha last summer after he went off the radar.  Kyle Rittenhouse, 18, had given an Antioch, Ill. address to the Kenosha County Circuit Court where he faces several […]

Wisconsin Trump election rally

The thin blue line flag: symbol of police pride or violent insurrection?

BY: - February 2, 2021

In late October, then-President Donald Trump — in the midst of a scorched Earth re-election campaign that touted a pro-law enforcement message and painted him as the candidate of “law and order,” — appeared at a rally in Waukesha.  Trump arrived in southern Wisconsin two months after a white Kenosha cop had shot Jacob Blake, […]

Chief Barnes Madison Police

Shon Barnes sworn in as new Madison police chief

BY: - February 1, 2021

Dr. Shon Barnes was sworn in as Madison’s 30th police chief Monday morning, taking control of a department attempting to respond to a vocal activist community pushing for reforms and a recent increase in violent crime.  Barnes takes over for acting chief Vic Wahl, who filled the position after chief Michael Koval abruptly retired in […]

A line of officers in riot and militarized gear block a street in Wauwatosa during the October curfew. Tear gas was still thick in the air. (Photo by Isiah Holmes)

Why did Wauwatosa PD want the phone of Alvin Cole’s sister?

BY: - February 1, 2021

On Oct. 8, 2020, family members of Alvin Cole joined the dozens who marched for justice in the streets of Wauwatosa. Protests flooded the suburb for months, as the 17-year-old had been the third person killed by former Wauwatosa officer Joseph Mensah. Cole’s mother Tracy, and older sister Taleavia, became central figures in the local […]

Officer Joseph Mensah (Photo | Wauwatosa PD)

ACLU of Wisconsin condemns Waukesha Sheriff’s Department for hiring Joseph Mensah

BY: - January 27, 2021

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Wisconsin has released a statement condemning the Waukesha County Sheriff Department for hiring former Wauwatosa officer Joseph Mensah. ACLU of Wisconsin Executive Director Chris Ott called the move “irresponsible, and disrespectful to the community.” Mensah was sworn in as a Waukesha County deputy Monday, according to Sheriff Eric […]

Officer Joseph Mensah (Photo | Wauwatosa PD)

After three fatal shootings in Wauwatosa, Joseph Mensah hired as a Waukesha County sheriff’s deputy

BY: - January 26, 2021

Joseph Mensah, the officer who became the focus of protests in Wauwatosa after three fatal shootings and later resigned, has been hired by the Waukesha County Sheriff’s Department and sworn in as a deputy. As a Wauwatosa police officer, Mensah shot and killed three people while on duty over a five-year period. Now, Mensah will […]