Saturday, May 18, 2024
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Saturday, May 18, 2024

Milwaukee Press Club 'Excellence in Wisconsin Journalism' 2020 & 2021 Award Winners

Barrage of Gunfire, Officer-Involved Shooting on Water Street After Wild Police Chase [VIDEO]

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A Water Street shooting broke out after a wild police chase involving a homicide suspect.

There was an officer-involved shooting on Water Street in downtown Milwaukee late Friday/early Saturday after a wild police pursuit of a fleeing homicide suspect, according to videos and sources. The homicide suspect, Ernest Blakney, is dead, and at least one female bystander was shot and wounded, sources say.

This video captures a massive barrage of gunfire breaking out after multiple squad cars chased a truck down Water Street.

Sources tell us the homicide suspect was Ernest Terrell Blakney, the Milwaukee man wanted for the murder of his ex-girlfriend and for setting his house on fire. He had been released on $5,000 bail in a sex abuse case.

“Cops did an amazing job on this,” a source told Wisconsin Right Now.

Wisconsin Right Now was first to break the news around 1 a.m. early Saturday morning. Milwaukee Police later released a statement. “On Friday, September 2, 2022, at approximately 10:50 p.m., Milwaukee Police officers observed a vehicle and a suspect on the 2200 block of W. National Avenue, that was wanted in connection to a homicide. Officers attempted to conduct a traffic stop; however, the driver refused to stop and a vehicle pursuit ensued,” they wrote.

“The pursuit ended when the vehicle became disabled on 100 block of E. Juneau Avenue, at which time, the suspect exited the vehicle and fired several shots at officers. Several officers discharged their firearms, subsequently striking the suspect. An uninvolved bystander was also struck. No other community members or officers were struck by the gunfire.”

Police noted: “The suspect, a 47-year-old Milwaukee man, sustained fatal injuries. His firearm was recovered. The bystander, a 22-year-old Hudson, Wisconsin woman, was transported to a local hospital for treatment of non-fatal injuries. At this time, it is unknown who’s gunfire struck the woman.”

Eight officers were involved:

A 47-year-old male officer with over 4 years of service.
Two 33-year-old male officers with over 3 years of service.
A 31-year-old male officer with over 12 years of service.
A 30-year-old male officer with over 5 years of service.
A 26-year-old male officer with over 4 years of service.
A 23-year-old male officer with over 5 years of service.
A 22-year-old male officer with over 4 years of service.

“They will be placed on administrative duty as is routine in officer involved critical incidents,” police said. “This is a fluid and ongoing investigation. The Milwaukee Area Investigative Team will be investigating this incident. The Oak Creek Department will be the lead law enforcement agency in the investigation.”

Another video also captures the massive volley of gunfire. Be forewarned that some of the language is graphic. The video can also be found here.

Sources tell Wisconsin Right Now that police were chasing the fleeing homicide suspect for some time. No officers were injured. Sources say the chase lasted about a half hour and involved the suspect shooting at officers as he drove, at times on rims. The female bystander who was shot was frequenting a popular local bar at the time, sources say. There are conflicting reports about whether one, or two, female bystanders were injured by bullets.

Sources say the suspect is dead following the officer-involved shooting. The female bystander was shot in arm by gunfire and was taken to Froedtert.

The carnage downtown is in the same general area where multiple shootings broke out last summer. Wisconsin Right Now was there to capture some of them, as undermanned police officers courageously put themselves in harm’s way without proper staffing from higher-ups.

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Wisconsin Lawmakers Push Questions About IDs For Illegal Immigrants, Voting

(The Center Square) – Some Wisconsin lawmakers are trying to calm fears about illegal immigrants getting IDs and voting in the state.

The Assembly Committee on Campaigns and Elections and the Senate Committee on Shared Revenue, Elections and Consumer Protection held a hearing Thursday with the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, some local election clerks and Fond du Lac County’s district attorney.

“We're not trying to get anybody into a bad spot here, or in a corner, or make accusations on that level,” Sen. Dan Knodl, R-Germantown, said. “We want our clerks, who are already stressed enough, to know that we are here to be there as an assist to them.”

Rep. Scott Krug, R-Nekoosa, said he wants to make sure voters have faith in Wisconsin’s electoral process.

“This is one of the topics that hit our inboxes quite a bit the last three months or so,” Krug added. “We thought it’s pretty important just to vet it out, to get all the information out to the public.”

The Wisconsin Elections Commission was invited to Thursday’s meeting but didn’t attend because commissioners were having a meeting of their own. But that left lawmakers’ questions unanswered.

Wis-DOT Deputy Secretary Kristina Boardman said Wisconsin is known as a strict voter ID state.

“I want to make very clear that Wis-DOT is required to provide free identification cards for U.S. citizens that request them for the purposes of voting, and that to be eligible for that free identification card one must be a U.S. citizen and at least 17 years of age,” Boardman said. “Wis-DOT staff do not determine voter eligibility or register anyone to vote. Someone who has a Wisconsin ID or a driver's license is eligible to register to vote online, and that information will be confirmed with Wisconsin DMV systems to ensure that the information entered for voter registration is consistent with the DMV's records

Boardman said in Wisconsin, less than a fraction of one percent of ID requests are fraudulent.

“We put together [a] case activity report, assemble all of the documentation that we have, we have the investigator that had the case pull that together, and we do refer that to law enforcement so that they can take whatever action is appropriate,” Boardman added. “We note what statutes we believe may have been violated. And then it's up to law enforcement to take action.”

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Senate Republicans Override Evers’ Vetoes

(The Center Square) – On Tuesday, the Republican-controlled Wisconsin Senate voted to override nine vetoes from Gov. Tony Evers, including the vetoes that scuttled PFAS clean-up money, millions of dollars that were earmarked for hospitals in Eau Claire and Chippewa Falls and a plan that would allow advanced practice registered nurses to work more independently.

“The legislature has passed hundreds of bills to solve problems facing Wisconsin businesses and families. Most of these bills were signed into law, but many were vetoed by a governor more focused on politics than policies that help everyday Wisconsinites,” Senate Majority Leader Devin LeMahieu said Tuesday. “Overriding the governor’s obstructive vetoes is the last, best way to address these critical issues.”

The override votes came one day after Evers sued the legislature over nearly $200 million that is attached to some of his vetoes.

Most of that money is the $125 million that’s supposed to go toward PFAS clean up in Wisconsin.

“For the fifth time this legislative session, I voted to provide Wisconsin families with the largest investment in clean drinking water in state history – five more times than every Democrat legislator in this state combined. The bill that Gov. Evers vetoed (SB 312) would have created a grant program that targets this critical funding to areas of the state most heavily impacted by PFAS contamination while protecting innocent landowners from financial ruin,” Sen Duey Stroebel, R-Cedarburg, said.

Evers has accused the legislature’s budget-writing Joint Finance Committee of obstructing his plans to clean up Wisconsin’s drinking water, and of delaying his other actions across the state.

LeMahieu said Evers is simply playing the game.

“While Gov. Evers plays politics, the legislature will continue to do the right thing on behalf of the people of our state,” LeMahieu added.

Senate Democrats responded with game-playing accusations of their own.

“Coming in to do all these veto overrides was clearly a stunt to try to appeal to voters ahead of the fall election,” Den. Mark Spreitzer, D-Beloit, said. “Clearly Republicans were hearing from things in their district and wanted political cover. I don't think they got political cover today. I think what they got was people realizing just how afraid they are.”

But Tuesday’s veto overrides are largely symbolic.

While Republicans in the Wisconsin Senate have a veto-proof majority, Republicans in the Wisconsin Assembly do not.

trump vs biden

Trump Holds Lead Over Biden Heading Toward November

With less than half a year until the 2024 presidential election, former President Donald Trump holds a sizable lead over incumbent President Joe Biden in several swing states.

While the overall national polling varies and shows a tighter race, Trump holds significant leads in several swing states.

According to Real Clear Politics, Trump leads in a slew of key battleground states like Arizona (+5.2), Georgia (+4.6), Michigan (+0.8), Nevada (+6.2), North Carolina (+5.4), Pennsylvania (+2.0), and Wisconsin (+0.6).

Other polling has shown Trump with a dominant lead in the Sun Belt while performing less well against Biden in some rust belt swing states.

“As the old saying goes, good gets better and bad gets worse, and it’s clear President Biden is in bad shape right now,” Colin Reed, a Republican strategist, former campaign manager for U.S. Sen. Scott Brown, R-Mass., and co-founder of South and Hill Strategies, told The Center Square. “Five and a half months is an eternity in politics, and there’s theoretically still time to right the ship, but it’s getting late early for the president, especially when Father Time remains undefeated and doubts about his age continue to grow. “

According to the Real Clear Politics’ national polling average, Trump leads Biden 46.1% to 44.9%.

A New York Times poll released this week showed leads for Trump in Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada and Pennsylvania but slightly trailing Biden in Wisconsin, raising concerns among supporters.

Trump’s lead has been in large part fueled by minority voters flocking to his side.

Meanwhile, Biden’s approval rating has plummeted since taking office. While that is not unusual for incumbents, Biden’s approval is lower than recent presidents.

Gallup recently released polling data showing that in the 13th quarter of Biden’s presidency, he averaged a 38.7% approval rating, worse than Trump at the same time in his term.

“None of the other nine presidents elected to their first term since Dwight Eisenhower had a lower 13th-quarter average than Biden,” Gallup said.

Axios reported this week that Biden and his team think the polls don’t represent Americans’ actual feelings and that the president’s position is strong.

“They're still 50% (well 45%) to win, per betting markets,” pollster Nate Silver wrote on X. “But Biden has been behind Trump in polls for a year now. His approval is in the tank, and voters have been clear they think he's too old. If Trump wins, history will not remember Biden kindly.”

Meanwhile, Trump spends valuable campaign time in a series of court appearances for his myriad of federal prosecution court dates.

“I’m under a gag order,” Trump told reporters after a court appearance Tuesday. “Nobody has actually seen anything like it ... I'm beating him in every poll and I have a gag order, so I think it's totally unconstitutional."

Republicans have blasted Biden for Trump’s prosecution, accusing Biden of using the Justice Department against his political opponent.

“Despite Far Left Democrats’ illegal election interference, President Trump is beating Joe Biden in the polls!” Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y., wrote on X Tuesday. “Voters see right through the sham Biden Trials and know President Trump is the best choice for president.”

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