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Author: Wisconsin Examiner

A Sundown Town: Wauwatosa Justice Rally highlights violent role of law enforcement in protests

Wauwatosa protesters and residents gathered in Hart Park on Thursday, October 15 for a rally for justice for police shooting victim Alvin Cole, organized by Team Roc, the social justice arm of rapper Jay-Z’s Roc Nation. The rally took place just a few blocks from the Wauwatosa village, a local business hub. Hundreds gathered around the stage to listen to music and the voices of families from around the state who have experienced police violence. Following the rally the group took to Wauwatosa’s streets, marching and chanting, as protesters in the suburb have been doing for months. The Wauwatosa...

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Briggs & Stratton’s Greed: How corporate executives plundered millions in bonuses before going bankrupt

Just days before filing for bankruptcy in July, Milwaukee’s Briggs & Stratton Corp., at one time the largest producer of small engines in the world and employer to 11,000 union production workers making a solid, middle-class living, handed its top executives $5 million in bonuses, calling them “retention awards.” In mid-September a federal bankruptcy court judge approved the sale of Briggs & Stratton’s assets to KPS Capital Partners, a private equity firm. Like vultures picking a carcass clean, these bonuses in the run-up to bankruptcy have become an all-too-frequent way for corporate executives to gift themselves with one last,...

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Pandemic uncertainty contributing to a spike in Wisconsin’s already climbing suicide rate

Suicide rates in Wisconsin rose 40% between 2000 and 2017 according to new report published by the Wisconsin Department of Health Services and in 2019, 850 Wisconsin residents died by suicide. Rates have climbed considerably higher nationwide during the pandemic. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that the rising suicide rate across the country is linked to “elevated adverse mental health conditions associated with COVID-19. The CDC surveyed Americans on their mental health at the end of June and found that 40% of adults were struggling with their mental health or substance abuse. Anxiety and depression...

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Wisconsin DOJ concludes its investigation into Kenosha police shooting of Jacob Blake

The file from the Wisconsin Department of Justice (DOJ) investigation into the police shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha was handed over to consultant Noble Wray, the former Madison Police Chief, on October 7 by its Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI). This begins the next phase of analysis before any decision on charges is made by the Kenosha County District Attorney’s Office. According to DOJ spokeswoman Gillian Drummond, the file is nearly complete and contains more than 170 investigative reports, as well as video, audio recordings, photos and other attachments that the department has spent many hundreds of hours...

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Wisconsin healthcare resources “feeling the strain” as COVID-19 crisis escalates due to severe cases

The spread of COVID-19 in Wisconsin continues to get worse, Governor Tony Evers and state health officials warned recently — and unless more people take it seriously, an increased number of residents, families, and members of the community may die from the virus in the coming weeks and months. “We are in a crisis,” said Dr. Ryan Westergaard, chief medical officer of the Bureau of Communicable Diseases in the state Department of Health Services (DHS). “And if we do nothing differently, I would say it’s a high likelihood that this is going to get much worse before it gets...

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Latest Kenosha Police shooting hits close to home for family of Michael Bell

For Michael M. Bell, word on August 23 that Kenosha Police had shot Jacob Blake in the back at close range replayed events from nearly 16 years ago. A Kenosha Police officer shot Bell’s son, Michael E. Bell, in the head November 9, 2004, killing him — and sending the father on a crusade to reform the process for investigating police officer misconduct, particularly when it involves the use of deadly force. The officer who fired the shot that killed the younger Bell has never been charged. Michael M. Bell sued the city of Kenosha over his son’s killing,...

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