Criminal Justice + Policing

Senate unanimously passes elder abuse bill, sends it to Reynolds

BY: - April 5, 2022

Iowa would create new criminal penalties for elder abuse under a bill passed Tuesday by the Iowa Senate. Senate File 522 sets criminal penalties for the abuse, assault or financial exploitation of an “older individual,” defined as someone aged 60 or over. The charges range in severity from misdemeanors to felonies. Advocates for the bill […]


This is what white privilege looks like

BY: - April 3, 2022

A few months ago, I was pulled over by a Springfield-area police officer for a minor traffic violation. He shined a flashlight in my car and said, “Mr. Reeder, are you carrying?” I replied that no, my firearm was home locked up in a safe. He replied, “You should always carry. It doesn’t do you any […]

Biden signs law named for Emmett Till that makes lynching a federal hate crime

BY: - March 29, 2022

WASHINGTON — Nearly 70 years after 14-year-old Emmett Till was kidnapped and murdered in Mississippi by two white men, President Joe Biden signed into law on Tuesday a bill to make lynching a federal hate crime. “Lynching was pure terror to enforce the lie that not everyone belongs in America,” Biden said at  the Rose […]

Biden lays out a ‘fund the police’ budget plan

BY: - March 29, 2022

WASHINGTON — The Biden administration is requesting billions in its fiscal 2023 budget from Congress to fund police departments, despite progressive Democrats’ calls for some of that spending to be reallocated to social services. President Joe Biden’s budget request to Congress unveiled Monday asks for $30 billion for state and local governments to add more […]

House unanimously passes elder abuse penalties

BY: - March 24, 2022

The Iowa House unanimously passed a bill Wednesday to create new penalties for elder abuse. Senate File 522 sets criminal charges — ranging from misdemeanors to felonies — for abusing, assaulting or financially exploiting an elderly person, defined as someone age 60 or older. Rep. Dustin Hite, a lawyer, said he had seen many cases […]


Lessons about cracked legal theories from a misguided pots-n-pans salesman 

BY: - March 19, 2022

Many years ago, I sat at the kitchen table of a pots-n-pans salesman from Pleasant Valley. We didn’t talk about cookware. He was laying out with lots of precision why the United States government had no legal basis for prosecuting him for willfully refusing to file federal income tax returns. It was a lengthy conversation […]

Most HBCU bomb threats may be coming from one juvenile, FBI official tells Congress

BY: - March 17, 2022

WASHINGTON — A top FBI official told members of a U.S. House panel on Thursday that the agency believes a single juvenile is behind most of the bomb threats made to more than 30 Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Ryan Young, executive assistant director of the Intelligence Branch at the FBI, said the bomb threats […]

‘They should have been in school’: Reynolds calls for education system change after East High shooting

BY: - March 16, 2022

In the wake of a Des Moines shooting that left one teenager dead and another two injured, Gov. Kim Reynolds said state leaders should be focusing on improving the education system rather than considering new gun control measures. “Let’s figure out how we get these kids in school, get them the education that they need […]

In Houston, people in jail can still go to the polls

BY: - March 13, 2022

HOUSTON — Damien Lewis had been detained in the Harris County Jail for a week. Other than the one hour a day he was allowed to walk around indoors and trips to court, he had been under quarantine and hadn’t left his cell. But on the day of the Texas primary earlier this month, a […]

Bank executive sentenced to nine months, ordered to pay $4.5 million in restitution

BY: - March 8, 2022

An Iowa banking executive accused of attempting to defraud the Small Business Administration has been sentenced to nine months in prison and ordered to pay $4.5 million in restitution. Larry Charles Henson of Davenport is the former president and chairman of the now-shuttered Valley Bank in Moline, Illinois. He was accused of conspiring with others […]

A year after Jan. 6, attack on the U.S. Capitol lives on in hundreds of court cases

BY: - March 5, 2022

Editors’ note: An earlier version of this report misstated the first name of Pamela Hemphill of Boise, Idaho. On the afternoon of Jan. 6, 2021, four men affiliated with the Kansas City chapter of the right-wing Proud Boys gathered on the west side of the U.S. Capitol, along with thousands of others urged on by […]

Iowa retailer again faces a ‘first offense’ charge of underage alcohol sales

BY: - March 4, 2022

Although an Iowa retailer has been accused of illegally selling alcohol to underage customers on three occasions in the past seven months, the latest charge is being treated by the state as a first-offense violation. Since 2012, SNK Gas & Food of Zwingle has been accused on at least six occasions of selling alcohol to […]