Voting changes; vigilante dangers; eviction moratorium; Facebook failings; Milwaukee marchers
Of note: This week we highlight our coverage of increasing tensions at racial justice protests nationwide and voting changes ahead of the November election.
Jim Malewitz and Vanessa Swales examine the widely disseminated calls to arms that preceded the fatal shooting of two racial justice protesters and the wounding of a third last week in Kenosha. Experts say hands-off, even chummy, interactions between police and armed vigilantes in Kenosha are not unusual as such groups mobilize at racial justice protests.
Meanwhile, reporter Max Witynski describes what voters need to know as elections officials aim to make mail-in balloting easier — trying to avoid a repeat of problems seen in April when absentee ballots were lost in transit or never sent, and 23,000 ballots were rejected because of voter errors or late arrival.
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‘I just killed somebody’: Vigilantes inject danger into police brutality protests in Kenosha, nationwide
Wisconsin Watch — August 28, 2020
Kyle Rittenhouse’s rapid descent to accused killer illustrated the stakes of what experts call a growing trend: Militias, far-right groups and other armed vigilantes — often mobilized on social media — showing up at racial justice protests, escalating chaos and danger during showdowns between protesters and law enforcement.
Related coverage: Before Jacob Blake, Kenosha had a history of police shootings
Wisconsin tells voters to request ballots now in push to improve mail-in voting
Wisconsin Watch — September 2, 2020
Wisconsin election officials are working to avoid a repeat of the state’s chaotic presidential primary and ensure a smooth, largely mail-in voting process in November. Still, big challenges remain, especially when it comes to minimizing disenfranchisement and counting votes quickly.
Related coverage: What you need to know now about mail-in voting in Wisconsin | Wisconsin GOP rep supports mail-in voting, despite Trump’s fraud claims
How Facebook failed Kenosha
BuzzFeed News — September 3, 2020
After the Kenosha shooting that left two protesters dead and another injured, Facebook said an “operational failure” had caused the company not to heed more than 450 reports that an event hosted by the Kenosha Guard was advocating violence. BuzzFeed discovered the group itself took down the event — but only after the shootings. Wisconsin Watch assisted in the reporting by providing BuzzFeed with screenshots of the militia group’s page before it was taken down by Facebook.
What the new federal eviction moratorium means
Bloomberg CityLab — September 2, 2020
Some housing experts are relieved by the four-month ban by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s ban on evictions — but uneasy about the Trump administration’s uncommonly quiet rollout.
Some with bleeding feet, group of determined Milwaukee marchers make it to DC: ‘It’s indescribable’
USA Today — August 28, 2020
After enduring blistered feet, arrests, harassment and a spray of gunfire over the course of weeks, dozens of people marching from Milwaukee 750 miles to protest police brutality arrived in the nation’s capital on the anniversary of the historic 1963 March on Washington.
The nonprofit Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism (wisconsinwatch.org) collaborates with Wisconsin Public Radio, PBS Wisconsin, other news media and the UW-Madison School of Journalism and Mass Communication. All works created, published, posted or disseminated by the Center do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of UW-Madison or any of its affiliates.