Criminal Justice

One hundred days out of office: What is the Legislature good for? 

BY: - July 24, 2020

It’s been 100 days since the Legislature met in session and passed an initial response to COVID-19. The state Senate never finished its work for the 2019-20 session. It cancelled — and never rescheduled — the remaining day of its regular session as the pandemic hit. When the session period officially ended, all bills not […]

Department Of Corrections Secretary Kevin Carr (Photo by Isiah Holmes)

DOC completes investigation into escape at Columbia Correctional Institution

BY: - July 24, 2020

On July 16, the Department of Corrections (DOC) announced that its Office of Internal Affairs had completed 13 personnel investigations involving several staff. The investigations came in the wake of an escape incident in April at Columbia Correctional Institution (CCI) in Portage, Wisconsin. As a result of the investigation, seven staff members were terminated, and […]

Gavel courtroom sitting vacant

Most of Wisconsin’s district attorneys aren’t facing a contested re-election

BY: - July 24, 2020

This fall, as Wisconsinites head to the polls, voters in only six will cast a ballot in a contested race for district attorney. Of those six, three will be decided in the August primary because only candidates of one party are running.  Florence, Langlade, Menominee and Shawano, Pierce, St. Croix and Waushara counties are the […]

Justice Department sending federal agents to Milwaukee in crackdown on Democrat-run cities

BY: - July 23, 2020

Federal agents will be deployed to Milwaukee and several other midwestern cities run by Democrats in the coming weeks, President Donald Trump announced Wednesday. The move is an escalation of occasionally violent federal intervention in cities that have seen large protests for racial justice.  Trump announced that as part of “Operation Legend” agents from the […]

Protesters gather for the listening session at Hart Park. (Photo by Isiah Holmes)

Listening session on race and equity in Tosa is mass catharsis for residents

BY: - July 23, 2020

Over four hours of catharsis followed the 6:30 p.m. kick-off of a public listening session on race and equity issues in Wauwatosa (Tosa), held on July 21. Hundreds of residents from Tosa, Milwaukee County and even from other areas of the state flowed into the football stadiums at Hart Park, chosen for the session to […]

Black Lives Matter protesters gather and march to the Milwaukee City Hall during 2020. Many called for the removal of Milwaukee police Chief Alfonso Morales. (Photo | Isiah Holmes)

Milwaukee Police Chief Morales meeting draws protesters from both sides of the debate

BY: - July 23, 2020

A Fire and Police Commission (FPC) meeting in Milwaukee Monday night culminated in 11 directives being handed down to Milwaukee Police Chief Alfonso Morales as part of a six-month performance evaluation. Outside city hall, protesters from both the city’s revitalized Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement and a pro-police Back the Badge crowd gathered to show […]

A screen shot of Joseph Mensah's Go Fund Me page. (Photo by Isiah Holmes)

Tosa Officer’s Go Fund Me shows large donations from local police organizations

BY: - July 22, 2020

A Go Fund Me page has been established by the brother of a Wauwatosa police officer at the center of recent protests by citizens demanding he be fired after shooting three young African American residents in five years. Established nearly a week ago, the page has raised more than $44,000 toward a goal of $50,000. […]

Leon Elijah Prioleau (Photo provided by Forum For Understanding Prisons)

Incarcerated in the pandemic

BY: - July 21, 2020

Update: On Monday, the Department of Corrections (DOC) announced it had “completed comprehensive testing of persons in our care and staff members at 37 institutions,” according to spokesman John Beard. “Total tests administered is now above 24,500, and active cases among persons in our care is currently at nine, and the positive test rate for […]

Protesters march on the second day of demonstrations. The Miller Park baseball stadium can be seen in the background. (Photo by Isiah Holmes)

DOJ records request on protests denied due to “ongoing” investigations

BY: - July 20, 2020

The Wisconsin Department of Justice (DOJ) has denied the Wisconsin Examiner’s request for public records pertaining to police action against protesters in Milwaukee. The requests, made on June 26, were denied because the records “concern an investigation that is continuing at this time,” according to the DOJ’s July 15 letter in response. The Examiner first […]

Homeland Security Investigations

White House Chief of Staff suggests Portland-style federal intervention in Milwaukee

BY: - July 20, 2020

White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows suggested on Sunday that federal agents could come to impose law and order in Milwaukee — a majority-minority city in a crucial presidential swing state.  Meadows referred to a crackdown on protesters in Portland, but didn’t say if any federal presence in Milwaukee would be similar to recent […]

Protesters gather at Wauwatosa's City Hall. They called for the firing of Officer Joseph Mensah, but also for the implementation of body cameras at the police department. (Photo | Isiah Holmes)

Tosa officer’s suspension is just one chapter in an ongoing saga

BY: - July 17, 2020

By order of the Wauwatosa (Tosa) Police and Fire Commission (PFC), Officer Joseph Mensah has been placed on administrative suspension with pay. For the three families of those who died in police shootings involving Mensah, the move represents a big step forward. Still, the pressure continues to mount from the near daily protests and demonstrations […]

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

Words matter. How do the police use them?

BY: - July 16, 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 […]