June 5, 2020
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa Democrats and black leaders are calling for urgent action by state lawmakers to end racial injustice and have proposed several bills during the shortened legislative session. One bill would make it illegal for police in Iowa to use a chokehold or neck restraint unless a person poses an imminent threat. Another would make it illegal for Iowa police departments to hire officers who were fired or resigned while being investigated for serious misconduct or excessive force. Republican leaders in the House and Senate said they’d consider the ideas.
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds signed a bill Thursday that will allow convicted felons to get their voting rights back only after they have paid full restitution to victims. The bill becomes effective if the legislature passes a proposed constitutional amendment automatically restoring voting rights for convicted felons. Reynolds, who has pushed for restoration of felon voting rights, initially opposed Republican lawmakers’ efforts to pass the restitution requirement. However, she changed her position once GOP senators said they would not pass the constitutional amendment unless she agreed to the repayment requirement. It’s unclear if the bill will withstand a court challenge since a similar measure in Florida was struck down as unconstitutional.
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Police officers fired several tear gas canisters and flash grenades late Wednesday to disperse protesters in Iowa City who were advancing toward Interstate 80. Hundreds of protesters were met by a line of Iowa State Patrol and Iowa City police officers on Dubuque Street blocking their path to the busy highway. The Iowa City Press-Citizen reports that a speaker identifying himself as a patrol officer ordered the crowd to disperse and warned that the failure to do so would result in the deployment of chemical munitions. The newspaper says that officers fired tear gas canisters when the crowd continued marching north. In the following minutes, the crowd backed up, attempted to rally and again march forward, but eventually were forced back.
WATERLOO, Iowa (AP) — Waterloo police charged two people after an attack on a reporter during a late-night protest. Police Thursday charged 29-year-old Irwin Leon Wade III, of Waterloo, with disorderly conduct and rioting, and set his bond at $11,000. The Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier reports a 16-year-old also was arrested on similar charges. They were arrested in connection with an attack during a march in Waterloo just before midnight Tuesday. Wade allegedly demanded that Courier reporter Jeff Reinitz leave and then tried to hit him when he refused. Wade then is charged with punching another demonstrator who tried to help the reporter. Reinitz was also allegedly struck by the 16-year-old.
June 5, 2020
CHICAGO (AP) — Three members of the Illinois Legislature want lawmakers to return to Springfield for an emergency legislative session to address criminal justice reform and rebuilding communities in the wake of “protests and subsequent civil unrest” in recent days. In a letter to House Speaker Mike Madigan and Senate President Don Harmon, Representatives Kam Buckner, Curtis Tarver and Lamont Robinson, all Democrats, say communities can’t wait until the fall veto session to address the unrest resulting from the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis. The pandemic has kept the General Assembly from Springfield, with lawmakers making their way to the state capital in May for a quick, four-day session to pass a budget.
CHICAGO (AP) — A Chicago man is in federal custody after he allegedly pointed a gun at a federal agent while a child stood by his side. Joseph Hammond was arrested early Wednesday after U.S Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosive agents responded to a call of an armed man firing shots on a street corner. According to the federal complaint, Hammond pointed a handgun with an extended magazine at one of the agents. He then picked up the child and ran. He was later tracked down by agents and arrested. The 33-year-old Hammond, who has served time for murder and aggravated assault of a police officer, is charged with unlawful use of a firearm by a felon.
LINCOLN, Ill. (AP) — The fire chief of the central Illinois city of Lincoln is apologizing for sharing a social media post asserting supporters of President Donald Trump would blow the heads off looters. Chief Bob Dunovsky said Thursday the decision to share the Facebook post was made “without much thought.” The written apology was made to Lincoln Mayor Seth Goodman, the City Council and the city’s residents. The post said looters should target homes with signs supporting Vermont senator and presidential candidate Bernie Sanders or former Vice President Joe Biden. It noted “they don’t believe in guns.”
CHICAGO (AP) — Chicago police say a police car pursuing a suspect’s vehicle slammed into a sport-utility vehicle overnight, killing the SUV’s driver and injuring several other people in a second collision. Police say the squad car crashed into a Ford Explorer in Chicago’s Lake View neighborhood Wednesday night and then struck a Hummer. The 37-year-old woman who was driving the Explorer died at a hospital. A 62-year-old man and two women passengers in his Hummer were injured when the squad car also struck their vehicle. They and the two officers who were in the squad car were hospitalized in fair condition. The suspect is in custody.
June 5, 2020
MADISON, Wis. (AP) — All prisoners and staff in Wisconsin’s 36 adult prisons will be tested for COVID-19 under the state Department of Corrections’ plan to resume more normal operations. The Wisconsin State Journal reported Thursday that the procedures include quarantining new prisoners and transfers for 14 days. The department resumed accepting new prisoners and accepting transfers on Monday, after a moratorium that Gov. Tony Evers issued on March 23 expired. Visits from friends and family remain suspended. The department is also about a third of the way through its plan that started in May to test all 21,800 adult inmates.
MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Organizers of the World Dairy Expo in Madison have canceled this year’s event because of the coronavirus pandemic. It’s the first time the annual trade show has been canceled in its 53-year history. Event organizers said they made the decision Thursday because of COVID-19 travel restrictions and health orders issued by the City of Madison and Dane County. The event _ described as the Super Bowl of dairy _ attracts tens of thousands of people from around the world. In 2019, the event attracted more than 62,000 people from nearly 100 countries. Organizers say the event will return in the fall of 2021.
MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The leader of the committee tasked with finding candidates for the University of Wisconsin System president opening is defending the panel’s decision to advance just one finalist. Michael Grebe told regents Thursday that the committee had identified a pool of finalists but they withdrew because they were afraid if they were identified they wouldn’t be able to combat the coronavirus in their current positions. Grebe said University of Alaska System President Jim Johnsen was the only finalist who didn’t withdraw. The committee decided restarting the search would take months and the committee had identified Johnsen as its preferred candidate anyway.
MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Gov. Tony Evers is defending his decision to deploy the Wisconsin National Guard to help police in Madison and Milwaukee control protests over George Floyd’s death.The Democratic governor told reporters during a conference call Thursday that he deployed Guard members to protect property in Madison, including the state Capitol, and utilities in Milwaukee. He said if the soldiers intervened in the protests, they did so at the direction of local authorities. He stressed that most protesters have been peaceful and encouraged people to exercise their free speech rights.