Two Republican lawmakers introduced legislation Wednesday designed to reform police use-of-force policies and investigations, including proposals that would ban training on chokeholds, punish municipalities that defund police departments and create a board to investigate officer-involved deaths and injuries.

Wrangler / stock.adobe.com

Every year the Wisconsin Policy Forum releases a top five list of their most important findings from the year.

Rob Henken is the president of the Wisconsin Policy Forum and he discusses each finding.

1. Shift to online shopping helps taxpayers but not state budget.


After Thursday night’s Fire and Police Commission meeting, the city of Milwaukee still doesn’t have a new police chief. The panel deadlocked in two previous votes on who’ll replace former Chief Alfonso Morales.

Teran Powell / WUWM

Across the country this year, including in Milwaukee, protests over the treatment of Black people has taken center stage. While the police killing of George Floyd was the catalyst, some in Milwaukee have had concerns for decades about policing and the value of Black lives here. Protests in Milwaukee have now surpassed 200 days. Still, questions remain about the progress that’s been made.


Talks to determine the future of Milwaukee's former police chief after a judge ruled he was improperly demoted ended Monday without a resolution.

Former Chief Alfonso Morales' attorney, Franklyn Gimbel, told The Associated Press that “we were not close to any reasonable settlement terms,” but he said the nature of any settlement, including whether the goal is to have Morales return to work, hasn't been determined yet.


The Milwaukee Common Council on Tuesday rejected the federal COPS grant that would have provided the city with 30 additional police officers. 

The vote was 9-6 to pass up the $10 million grant.

Groups, such as the Party for Socialism and Liberation – Milwaukee, North Side Rising and others, protested the funding before the vote, calling it “a step back from the steady movements to defund the police ... and a slap in the face to a community that has decided we do not need more officers.”

Michelle Maternowski / WUWM

Updated Monday 6:18 p.m. CST

The Wauwatosa Police Department is releasing additional details about the investigation into the shooting at Mayfair Mall on Friday. Eight people were injured, and a 15-year-old Hispanic teen was taken into custody Saturday night.

Samer Ghani

With a vote of 14-4, the Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors on Monday approved a $1.2 billion budget for 2021.

While the spending plan is about $4.2 million less than this year’s, the property tax levy will increase due to a reduction in shared revenue payments from the state.

Maddie Meyer / Getty Images

Updated at 2:02 p.m. CT

Milwaukee Bucks guard Sterling Brown and the Milwaukee city attorney have agreed to a revised $750,000 settlement of a lawsuit Brown filed after getting taken to the ground, shocked with a Taser and arrested during an encounter with police in 2018.

Waukesha County Sheriff

Updated Saturday at 11:06 a.m. CT

A man sought in a shooting that wounded two Wisconsin police officers at a traffic stop in the Delafield area has been arrested. The suspect, identified by the Fargo Police Department as 23-year-old Nathanael Benton, is also wanted in North Dakota for attempted murder.

Two others were also arrested, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Susan Bence

As rain and wind swept through Milwaukee Monday, members of a new commission stood outside City Hall, eager to share their commitment to bring change to Milwaukee’s much-criticized police department.

Nate Hamilton chairs the Community Collaborative Commission, a group that evolved from a committee to a body recognized by Milwaukee's Common Council. The commission is made up of 16 members, representing Milwaukee’s diversity.


 Updated Wednesday at 9:35 a.m. CT

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett would reduce the city's police force by 120 positions in his proposed 2021 budget. Barrett is presenting the $1.5 billion budget to the Common Council Tuesday.

The police positions would be reduced through attrition. The mayor's budget cuts about $430,000 from the police department's current funding level.

The proposal follows the loss of 60 sworn police jobs in this year's budget, which cut the department to about 1,800 officers.


A Milwaukee police officer who pleaded not guilty to reckless homicide in the death of a man during a fight at the off-duty officer’s home has resigned.

Police Sgt. Sheronda Grant confirmed Tuesday evening that Michael Mattioli had stepped down from the department. Mattioli had been on paid suspension following the death of Joel Acevedo last April.

Earlier Tuesday, Mattioli entered a not guilty plea during an arraignment held virtually in Milwaukee County Circuit Court.

Milwaukee County Sheriff's Office

Milwaukee police Officer Michael Mattioli will stand trial in the strangulation death of Joel Acevedo, who was attending a party at the officer’s house in April. Mattioli was off duty at the time. He's accused of putting Acevedo in a headlock, which turned out to be fatal.

Mattioli was bound over for trial following a preliminary hearing on Monday. He is charged with first-degree reckless homicide in the death of Acevedo. He’s currently suspended from the Milwaukee police force.

Scott Olson / Getty Images

President Donald Trump will travel to Kenosha, Wisconsin, on Tuesday, amid fury over the police shooting of Jacob Blake in the back, which left the 29-year-old Black man paralyzed.

White House spokesman Judd Deere told reporters aboard Air Force One on Saturday that Trump will be meeting with law enforcement officers and “surveying” some of the damage from recent protests that turned destructive.

'7 Bullets, 7 Days': Protesters March For Blake In Kenosha

Aug 29, 2020
Scott Olson / Getty Images

Roughly a thousand people gathered Saturday in Kenosha for a march and rally against police violence, about a week after an officer shot Jacob Blake in the back and left the 29-year-old Black man paralyzed.

Marchers chanted “No justice, no peace!” and “Seven bullets, seven days” — a reference to the number of times Blake was shot on Sunday. Those leading the march carried a banner reading “Justice for Jacob” as they made their way toward the Kenosha County Courthouse, where several speakers encouraged demonstrators to vote for change in November.

Were They A Threat? Police Shootings Reignite Legal Debate

Aug 29, 2020
Scott Olson / Getty Images

In the span of 48 hours, two Black men in U.S. cities hundreds of miles apart were shot by police in episodes that set off a national conversation about the need for officers to open fire on people walking away from them.

Brandon Bell / Getty Images

The Kenosha police union on Friday offered the most detailed accounting to date on officers' perspective of the moments leading up to police shooting Jacob Blake seven times in the back, saying he had a knife and fought with officers, putting one of them in a headlock and shrugging off two attempts to stun him.

The statement from Brendan Matthews, attorney for the Kenosha Professional Police Association, goes into more detail than anything that's been released by the Wisconsin Department of Justice, which is investigating.

Screenshot / Youtube

Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers responded to the Kenosha police shooting of Jacob Blake by calling a special session on police reform, set to begin Aug. 31. 

Susan Bence / WUWM

Kenosha police shot a Black man multiple times on Sunday, setting off a night of protests and unrest in the city. The shooting victim was identified by Gov. Tony Evers as Jacob Blake. Police say Blake was taken to a hospital in Milwaukee and was in serious condition.

WUWM is providing updates as events unfold and information on the incident is released.

Chuck Quirmbach

Updated Monday 8:35 a.m. CT

Kenosha police shot and wounded a Black man, apparently in the back, after responding to a call about a domestic dispute, setting off a night of protests and unrest in which officers fired tear gas and demonstrators apparently hurled objects and set fire to parked cars.

>>Find all of WUWM's Kenosha protest coverage here.


Milwaukee's former police chief is seeking damages of $625,000 from the city following his recent demotion, a reduction in rank he did not accept.

Alfonso Morales filed a damage claim against the city Thursday for breach of contract, denial of due process and loss of reputation.

The Fire and Police Commission demoted Morales to captain on Aug. 6, about two weeks after giving him a long list of directives with the threat of discipline or termination if he failed to complete them.

Chuck Quirmbach

Updated at 10:30 a.m. CT

A Black Lives Matter protest in Wauwatosa Friday night featured a tense standoff between dozens of protesters and law enforcement from several communities after one of the protesters was taken into custody, apparently on an unrelated charge.

The incident took place at 70th St. and Aetna Ct., just north of Wisconsin Avenue and near the home of Wauwatosa Mayor Dennis McBride.


Milwaukee's former police chief, who was demoted to captain in part for using tear gas against protesters demonstrating over George Floyd’s death, has chosen to retire instead of staying with the department.

The city's Fire and Police Commission voted unanimously last week to demote Chief Alfonso Morales.


Updated on Friday at 9:58 a.m. CT

An oversight board demoted Milwaukee Police Chief Alfonso Morales on Thursday after questioning how he handled multiple incidents, including ordering officers to fire tear gas and pepper spray at protesters demonstrating over George Floyd’s death.

The city’s Fire and Police Commission unanimously voted Thursday evening to demote Morales to captain after three-and-a-half years on the job.

Screenshot / WisconsinEye

Embattled Milwaukee Police Chief Alfonso Morales talked about his future at a panel discussion on Tuesday before the Milwaukee Press Club. The Fire and Police Commission has issued a number of directives to the chief, with a caveat that he could be fired if he doesn’t meet them.

Maayan Silver

Milwaukeeans got more answers Wednesday about a push to add federal investigators to anti-violence efforts in the city. U.S. Attorney Matthew Krueger announced the U.S. Department of Justice will provide 25 to 30 federal investigators in Milwaukee as part of Operation Legend — an initiative to curb violent crime in cities.

Krueger highlighted that homicides in Milwaukee are up.

Updated 4:57 p.m. ET

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown announced Wednesday that U.S. agents who were sent to protect a federal courthouse in Portland from demonstrators will begin departing on Thursday.

prathaan / stock.adobe.com

There are still a number of unknowns when it comes to federal agents being sent to Milwaukee. When will they arrive? How long will they be here? How many agents are we talking about? 

The deployment of those agents to Milwaukee was the subject of a special Milwaukee Common Council Public Safety and Health Committee meeting on Monday.

Will Cioci / Wisconsin Watch

Milwaukee activist Annia Leonard wants a safe community without police, and she draws from experience when imagining that: like the time a conflict at her grandmother’s house ended peacefully in a garden — without anyone in handcuffs.