Criminal Justice + Policing

Ex-cop accused of threatening witness against him

BY: - November 23, 2022

A former police officer who faces numerous felony charges in connection with allegations of harassing and stalking a Des Moines woman is now accused by prosecutors of threatening to harm her to prevent her from testifying against him. Walter Pacheco, 28, of Pleasant Hill, had been released from jail pending the outcome of several criminal […]

FBI confirms a single juvenile suspect behind most bomb threats to dozens of HBCUs

BY: - November 15, 2022

WASHINGTON — The FBI has officially announced that a single minor youth is the main suspect in most racially motivated bomb threats to dozens of Historically Black Colleges and Universities earlier this year that terrorized students. The FBI in a statement on Monday did not release any further details — only that the individual is under 18 […]


Could another Mamie Till bring gun change?

BY: - November 11, 2022

Mamie Till came along at the right time in American history. During the 1950s, in an era when many Americans were blind to the grotesque toll of racial hatred, this courageous Illinois mother stepped forward and opened America’s eyes. What people saw outraged them — the mutilated body of her 14-year-old son, Emmett, lying in […]

Recreational marijuana use will be legal in 21 states after ballot measures pass

BY: - November 9, 2022

Advocates for marijuana liberalization saw mixed results as legalization ballot measures were counted Tuesday, with Maryland and Missouri voters approving recreational use for adults but Arkansas, South Dakota and North Dakota rejecting the proposal. Maryland and Missouri will bring the list of states where recreational marijuana use is legal to 21. Missouri is the second […]

Man who attacked Speaker Pelosi’s husband wanted to break ‘her kneecaps,’ DOJ says

BY: - October 31, 2022

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Justice on Monday announced federal charges against the man who allegedly broke into U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s San Francisco home and attacked her 82-year-old husband with a hammer. If convicted, David DePape could receive up to 50 years in prison. The Federal Bureau of Investigation’s complaint and affidavit into […]

Paul Pelosi, U.S. House speaker’s husband, attacked inside their San Francisco home

BY: - October 28, 2022

WASHINGTON — U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband, Paul Pelosi, was recovering in the hospital Friday after a man in his 40s broke into their San Francisco home in the early morning and “violently assaulted” the 82-year-old, according to a statement from spokesman Drew Hammill. Nancy Pelosi, a California Democrat who has a U.S. Capitol […]

Judge: Racial quota on police-review board only creates ‘more racial biases’

BY: - October 25, 2022

A federal judge has blocked the city of Cedar Rapids from continuing to use a racial quota in selecting members for the police department’s Citizen Review Board. In a strongly worded ruling, U.S. District Judge C.J. Williams of the Northern District of Iowa declared that the city’s rationale for its policy was “vehemently incorrect,” adding […]


School shooting verdict raises tough questions about retribution and justice

BY: - October 20, 2022

There was no menace left in the school shooter who sat across from me in the prison visitor’s room. Clad in a blue chambray shirt and a tired expression, he told me about that fateful day in 1989 when he entered a day-care center in League City, Texas, and started shooting. A bullet ripped through […]


Secrecy isn’t how police build trust and respect

BY: - October 19, 2022

Middle ground is not something that often is seen nowadays in Iowa government or our politics. These days, candidates, elected officials and community members often are seen as flawed if they speak in favor of the middle ground. Case in point: Too many people have staked out extreme positions on one of the most important […]

Costs of incarceration rise as inflation squeezes inmates, families

BY: - October 16, 2022

Across the nation, prison commissaries are raising prices on items that many consider basic necessities — from deodorant to fresh fruit — not provided by the state department of corrections. The markups come as decades-high inflation is also squeezing inmates’ families, making it harder for them to help.  It’s a burden that families shouldn’t have […]

Iowa woman vanishes while facing 14 counts of animal neglect in two counties

BY: - October 14, 2022

A series of arrest warrants have been issued for a central Iowa woman who disappeared after being charged with 14 counts of animal neglect. The warrants charge Michelle Renee Evans, 56, with failure to appear in court and with violating the terms of her pretrial release agreement. Court records indicate Evans has lived in the […]

The battle for control of Congress: Abortion, inflation, crime and Biden

BY: , and - October 8, 2022

By Jennifer Shutt, Jacob Fischler and Ariana Figueroa WASHINGTON — Members of Congress are fanning out to every district in the country, leaving the wonky floor debates on Capitol Hill behind for the campaign trail in advance of the crucial Nov. 8 midterm elections.  Democrats are fighting to hold their razor-thin majorities in the U.S. […]