Criminal Justice

Whitewater Protest

Wisconsin’s small towns join call for racial justice

BY: - June 18, 2020

For years the script was familiar.  Act one: Heinous act of police violence against a person of color in a major U.S. city goes viral. Act two: Community members in that city march and protest against the violence — perhaps charges are filed against the officer involved. Act three: Other major cities may have a […]

A closer look at the National Guard’s operations in Milwaukee

BY: - June 16, 2020

When Milwaukee joined cities across the country in daily protests of police brutality, marchers may have begun to regard riot-gear-clad officers as a familiar presence in reaction to the marches and rallies. The National Guard, which was activated on May 30 to support police efforts and prevent property damage, however, was a new element that […]

Dane County Circuit Court Judge-appointee Mario White (photo courtesy of Mario White).

An advocate for Black lives on the bench

BY: - June 10, 2020

About 100 public defenders marched through the heat in downtown Madison on Monday, stopping in front of the Madison Police Department to listen to Mario White, a former public defender who was recently appointed by Gov. Tony Evers to be a Dane County Circuit Court judge, as he read the names of African Americans killed […]

Protesters marching and gathering in Milwaukee during the first day of demonstrations. Riot police were a few meters away. (Photo by Isiah Holmes)

Congressional Dems lay out expansive police reform plans

BY: - June 9, 2020

WASHINGTON — Congressional Democrats outlined their vision for sweeping police reforms on Capitol Hill Monday, following weeks of nationwide protests sparked by the killing of George Floyd in Minnesota. “Never again should the world be subjected to witnessing what we saw on the streets of Minneapolis: the slow murder of an individual by a uniformed […]

Protesters gather at Wauwatosa, a Milwaukee Suburb, and march through the area. (Photo by Isiah Holmes)Protesters gather at Wauwatosa, a Milwaukee Suburb, and march through the area. (Photo by Isiah Holmes)

Defund the Police: What does it mean, why does it matter and what could it look like here?

BY: - June 9, 2020

A nationwide movement of protests against racial injustice has sprung up across Wisconsin and the country. As thousands of people take to the streets, familiar chants of No Justice, No Peace and Black Lives Matter have echoed through the crowds.  The protests began as a response to the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police […]

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Voice from the right: No new prison, so try reforms instead

BY: - June 9, 2020

One of the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic as well as resulting unemployment, has been a drop in revenue and other fiscal woes that have hit every level of government, blowing giant holes in state and local budgets.  The Badger Institute — a conservative think tank formerly known as the Wisconsin Policy Research Institute with […]

Tracy Cole, Alvins mother, speaks to the marchers (Photo by Isiah Holmes)

“The Three” protest draws attention to Wauwatosa Police shootings

BY: - June 8, 2020

“Alvin was my youngest boy,” Tracy Cole said before a growing crowd of protesters near Wauwatosa on Saturday. Standing in the afternoon heat, Cole struggled to keep the tears and grief at bay, even as the crowd showed its support. “Especially a mother, when you lose a child,” Cole said, “it takes a part of […]

Protesters confronting riot-clad officers on the first day. Officers were blocking side streets. (Photo by Isiah Holmes)

Pocan introduces uniform national standards for police

BY: - June 5, 2020

Rep. Mark Pocan (D-Black Earth) announced on Friday that he is introducing a bill called the Police Training and Accountability Act, to establish national training standards for all law-enforcement officers, as well as a civilian-law enforcement bill of rights. Under the proposed legislation, a civilian commission would set standards of training for police, which, Pocan […]

Protesters confront riot police blocking the Miller Parkway freeway entrance in Milwaukee, on the first day of protests. (Photo by Isiah Holmes)

Police force against protesters stirs calls for sweeping reform

BY: - June 5, 2020

Many people across Milwaukee are still processing clashes between protesters and law enforcement this week. Although a curfew is no longer in effect, officers have maintained an augmented presence throughout the area. In the most prominent standoff, a day-time march was declared unlawful by Milwaukee police, who used tear gas on the crowd, and detained […]


Living as brothers and sisters

BY: - June 5, 2020

Where do I begin? The pandemic in which I must strongly isolate because of my age and my wife’s cancer? The explosive outrage that was bound to come because we as a nation have been  unable to reduce the number of deaths of African Americans at the hands of police? Or do I start  as […]

Tony Evers

‘This cannot be who we are any longer’

BY: - June 5, 2020

The regular briefings state officials hold to update the media on Wisconsin’s battle with COVID-19 are usually a mix of earnest public health reminders and upbeat encouragement for state residents to keep up  practices to help everyone stay safe and curb the spread of the viral illness that has put the world back on its […]

The ruins of what used to stand at an intersection near the Minneapolis Police Department Fifth Precinct. Macklin Caruso/Minnesota Reformer

Tear gas is way more dangerous than police let on — especially during the coronavirus pandemic

BY: - June 4, 2020

This story was originally published by ProPublica. When Amira Chowdhury joined a protest in Philadelphia against police violence on Monday, she wore a mask to protect herself and others against the coronavirus. But when officers launched tear gas into the crowd, Chowdhury pulled off her mask as she gasped for air. “I couldn’t breathe,” she […]