Criminal Justice

WASHINGTON, - JUNE 06: Demonstrators march past the Lincoln Memorial during a protest against police brutality and racism takes place on June 6, 2020 in Washington, DC. This is the 12th day of protests with people descending on the city to peacefully demonstrate in the wake of the death of George Floyd, a black man who was killed in police custody in Minneapolis on May 25. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Three Republicans join House Democrats in passing sweeping police reform

BY: - June 26, 2020

WASHINGTON — The U.S. House passed a sweeping police reform package Thursday night in response to massive civil unrest over police brutality. The package cleared the chamber largely along partisan lines, with 236 lawmakers (mostly Democrats) voting for it and 181 lawmakers (180 Republicans and one Independent) voting against it. Three Republicans sided with Democrats […]

Jay Anderson Jr.'s family gather to pay their respects on the anniversary of his death. (Photo by Isiah Holmes)

Residents and families release balloons honoring man killed by Tosa police

BY: - June 25, 2020

On June 23, 2016, at 3 a.m., 25-year-old Jay Anderson Jr. was approached by Wauwatosa police officer Joseph Mensah as Anderson slept in his car in the parking lot of Madison Park, a Milwaukee County park that lies at  a border-point between Milwaukee and Wauwatosa. Anderson’s family says he pulled over in the park to […]

Close up photo of police lights on top of a cop car at night

Democrats block GOP’S ‘weak’ police reform bill

BY: - June 25, 2020

WASHINGTON — Senate Democrats blocked a GOP police reform bill Wednesday because they said it fails to adequately respond to police brutality against people of color. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) sought to clear a procedural hurdle Wednesday so he could bring the bill to the floor for Senate consideration. But the legislation fell […]

A Milwaukee County Sheriff vehicle parked below a bridge being crossed my protesters. (Photo | Isiah Holmes)

Nooses with pictures of Black people hung in Milwaukee park

BY: - June 24, 2020

The Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO) is investigating a chilling incident in Milwaukee’s Riverside Park, on the city’s east side. Nooses were placed in a tree in the park, near laminated cards depicting the photos of Black men and women who’ve been killed by police or citizens in recent years. In a press release, the […]

The arsenal in the hands of Wisconsin’s police

BY: - June 24, 2020

The role of the police in our society has been under a microscope since the killing of George Floyd by the Minneapolis Police Department in May. Local Policing is an ongoing series analyzing the culture, tactics and actions of departments big and small across Wisconsin. If you have a story to share about your local […]

Protesters marching and gathering in Milwaukee during the first day of demonstrations. (Photo by Isiah Holmes)

Milwaukee protesters and residents feel they’re under police surveillance

BY: - June 23, 2020

“There’s definitely something going on,” says 39-year-old Milwaukee activist Frank Sensabaugh, better known locally by the long-held nickname “Frank Nitty.” Most of his days recently have been spent either organizing or participating in Milwaukee’s slice of the nation’s re-invigorated Black Lives Matter movement. Nitty, and many others, also suspect the demonstrations have become the targets […]

Protesters stand outside the Wauwatosa Police Department, dozens more were inside cramming into the tiny lobby area during the summer of 2020. (Photo by Isiah Holmes)

The invasion of Tosa PD: protesters demand officer be fired for three shootings

BY: - June 19, 2020

One by one, an ever-growing caravan of cars streamed down 116th street in Wauwatosa, often shortened to “Tosa.” The quiet suburban neighborhood where the Wauwatosa Police Department (WPD) is located, never sees this kind of traffic. Protest chants filled the air as marchers gathered in front of the police station, before invading and occupying the […]

Smoke canister explodes in downtown Madison

New information on out-of-town police at Madison protests

BY: - June 19, 2020

Law enforcement from the farthest edges of the state responded to Madison protests of the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police, and systemic racism and violence by police generally. The presence of large numbers of out-of-town cops raises questions about their speedy integration into Madison Police Department command.  A local TV reporter appears to […]

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 […]