Wisconsin

Recent Posts

Milwaukee School Supporters Rally to Fight Funding Cuts, Privitization

MIlwaukee School Supporters Rally. Click photo to watch video.

As the national debate over the direction of education rages, Milwaukee appears to be ground zero for the school choice movement, cuts in public education and expansion of charter schools that many public education advocates believe are detrimental to students and schools in the city. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , ,

Armed Mercenaries Returning to Wisconsin Woods — Legally, This Time

Heavily armed and camouflaged guard from Bulletproof Securities, Inc., patrols Wisconsin woods in July. The security force was withdrawn because it lacked legal permits. The permits have now been issued by state authorities and the guns are back. Click to see video report.

Mercenary-style guards carrying assault weapons will return to the north woods of WIsconsin after an Arizona-based security firm received proper permits to operate in Wisconsin. Last month, the heavily-armed guards, wearing camouflage and some with face coverings, startled hikers and other forest visitors when they showed up — without permits or the legally required name tags and credentials.
Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

Milwaukee Kid Killer Gets Life in Prison Without Parole for “Evil Act”

Darius Simmons

John Spooner, the 76-year-old Milwaukee gun collector who shot and killed 13-year-old Darius Simmons in front of his mother last year, was sentenced Monday to life in prison with no chance of parole for the shocking murder — captured by a security video camera — by a judge who called the killing “an evil act.”
Continue Reading →

Filed under: , ,

BREAKING: Milwaukee Killer Of 13-Year-Old Black Neighbor Found Sane, Faces Life In Prison

John Spooner, in court. Photo Miliwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Breaking News: The elderly “gun nut” convicted of the murder of a 13-year-old Milwaukee boy was found sane by a Milwaukee jury on Friday. The determination — after brief jury deliberations — that John Spooner was mentally competent when he shot 13-year-old Darius Simmons on May 31, 2012, means Spooner faces a sentence of life in prison. He will be sentenced Monday afternoon. Stay on The UpTake for more. John Spooner, the 76-year-old Milwaukee white man seen shooting his 13-year-old black neighbor to death on a video taken by his own home security camera, has been found guilty of the murder by a jury and now awaits another jury decision as to whether he is mentally competent and should be sentenced for the crime. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , ,

Milwaukee Jurors See Video of Shooting of 13-year-old youth by White “Gun Nut”

Darius Simmons, 13, was shot by a white neighbor in 2012

A Milwaukee jury was shown dramatic and disturbing video Tuesday of a 13-year-old boy being shot at point-blank range by a 75-year-old neighbor who confronted him in front of the boy’s home while the youth was bringing in garbage bins from the curb. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

Minneapolis, Milwaukee Protesters March For Trayvon Martin, Local African-American Victims

Milwaukee protesters demand "Justice for Trayvon." Click on photo to see videos of Minneapolis and Milwaukee protests

Protesters demanding justice and demonstrating outrage over the Florida acquittal of Trayvon Martin’s killer marched in Milwaukee and Minneapolis. In both cities, protesters were motivated by controversial police killings of black youths that have caused outrage in the African-American communities. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker Signs Budget

Gov. Scott Walker signs the $68 Billion Wisconsin budget Sunday.

Story for The UpTake by Tracey Pollock

Pleasant Prairie, Wis. Gov. Scott Walker signed the $68 billion biennial Wisconsin state budget Sunday, visiting a private trade show exhibits manufacturer that recently moved its headquarters to Wisconsin from Illinois, and laying out five goals of the state budget he said benefited “the hardworking taxpayers of Wisconsin.” But, as critics of Walker’s budget noted, the wealthiest taxpayers will benefit the most. Walker made 57 line-item vetoes before signing the budget, which passed along strict party lines, with only one Republican state senator joining the Democrats in opposition. The last-minute vetoes included removing a provision that would have allowed for a private bail-bonds system in the state, and another that would have kicked the Center for Investigative Journalism off the UW-Madison campus. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , ,

Milwaukee Activists March In Immigration Action In Washington

Voces de la Frontera

More than 50 people attended a rally in front of the Mitchell Park Domes on the South side of Milwaukee Tuesday to send off immigrant activists and allies for a Wednesday march for immigration reform in Washington D.C.. They were part of a total of 200 families, some from each congressional district in Wisconsin, traveling to Washington to march in favor of ending abuse of immigrant workers and a direct path to citizenship for the 11 million undocumented immigrants in the United States. Simultaneous rallies were held around Wisconsin to send off activists on the long bus ride to Washington. Activists planned to conduct a phone bank on the ride, encouraging Wisconsin voters to contact their Congress members to act on meaningful immigration reform. Once in D.C, activists planned to speak with their elected officials and meet with thousands of activists from around the country to march for justice for undocumented immigrants. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , ,

Decision Not To File Charges in Derek Williams Death Outrages Milwaukee Community

Activists protested Friday after a prosecutor refused to bring charges against Milwaukee police officers in the death of Derek Williams. Click on the photo to see the protest.

No criminal charges will be filed against three Milwaukee police officers found by an inquest jury to have failed to render necessary aid to Williams when he collapsed and died in the back of a squad car on July 6, 2011. The controversial death of Williams, a young father of three, has roiled police-community relations since the incident and community anger exploded after last week’s development. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , ,

No Felony In Williams Inquest, But Jury To Decide If Cops Should Face Lesser Charge

Milwaukee_Police_Department

A Wisconsin prosecutor conducting an inquest into the controversial 2011 death of Derek Williams while in the custody of Milwaukee police has ruled out the possibility of homicide charges against police. But three officers still face a potential charge of failing to render aid to Williams while he was gasping for breath and begging for help. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

Inquest into Death of Milwaukee Man in Police Car Resumes After Week of Clashes

Shawnda Shumpert, Derek Williams' aunt, and Grace Kelly, the mother of Williams' girlfriend, recoil as video of Williams' death in the back seat of a Milwaukee police car is shown at the inquest into his death.  (Photo by Rick Wood, courtesy of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

The inquest into the death of Derek Williams while in the custody of Milwaukee police resumes today after a week when seven police officers refused to testify and conflicting testimony was taken from medical professionals, family members and eyewitnesses. The inquest into the 2011 death of the 22-year-old father of three, who collapsed and died in the back of a police car, is expected to conclude after a day or two of additional testimony. But whether the inquest will answer the concerns of his family and community activists who believe Williams was the victim of police misconduct, remains as unclear as ever.  

The inquest was called after a Milwaukee County Medical Examiner changed the classification of Williams’ death from natural causes to homicide, sparking months of protests in Milwaukee against police misconduct that family and community members believe was the cause of Williams’ death. (more…) Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

Hundreds Oppose Bill Weakening Wisconsin Mining Regulations

the-hull-rust-open-pit

The fight against a proposed weakening of Wisconsin mining regulations that would facilitate the construction of a giant open-pit mine in Ashland County continued this week with hundreds of Wisconsin residents, including many representing Native American tribes, traveling to Madison to testify against the bill at a legislative hearing.
Continue Reading →

Filed under: , ,