Criminal Justice

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 […]

Madison Chief Finalists

Madison names four finalists in search for new police chief

BY: - December 4, 2020

After more than a year without a permanent police chief, the Madison Police and Fire Commission (PFC) named four finalists for the top job on Friday. The long search has been taking place with the city’s police department under constant pressure for reform from local activists.  The four finalists come from local police departments across […]

Milwaukee FPC deadlocks, fails to choose new police chief

BY: - December 4, 2020

The Milwaukee Fire and Police Commission deadlocked 3-3 between two candidates as it attempted to vote to choose the next chief of the Milwaukee Police Department. The two candidates with support from commissioners were Dallas Police Major Malik Aziz and FBI agent Hoyt Mahaley.  The commission went through two rounds of voting, failing to reach […]

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 […]

Hoyt Mahaley

FBI agent supported by prominent groups for Milwaukee chief job despite lack of public record

BY: - December 2, 2020

The only Milwaukee native on the shortlist to be named the city’s next police chief spent most of his career in law enforcement at the FBI — with the result that there’s less publicly available information about his record and history of policing than there is for the other candidates.  Hoyt Mahaley, who grew up […]

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. […]

Kenosha County Jail

Rittenhouse released from Kenosha County Jail

BY: - November 20, 2020

Kyle Rittenhouse posted his $2 million bail and was released from Kenosha County Jail Friday, his lawyer said on Twitter.  The 17-year-old is charged with two counts of first degree homicide and one count of attempted homicide after shooting three people at a protest for racial justice in Kenosha in August, killing two. He also […]

Wisconsin State Capitol Police car in front of Wisconsin Capitol. (Photo: WI Department of Administration)

Wisconsin law enforcement is everywhere, how many agencies operate where you live?

BY: - November 20, 2020

People are familiar with their local police department but Wisconsinites live under the jurisdiction of far more law enforcement agencies than just the municipal police.  In total, there are nearly 600 local, state and federal law enforcement agencies operating in Wisconsin. These agencies vary in size from tiny village departments to the FBI.  Even in […]

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer gives her DNC address, Aug. 17, 2020 | Julia Picket photo

Columbia County man close to extradition to Michigan for involvement in Whitmer plot

BY: - November 19, 2020

A Wisconsin Dells man is in custody at the Columbia County Jail for his involvement in a plot to kidnap and execute Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. The man is in the process of being extradited to Michigan to face a felony charge for providing material to support a terrorist act.  Brian P. Higgins, 52, appeared […]