nterior of an empty courtroom with gavel and sounding block on the desk.

‘Torture’ case could cost Iowa taxpayers $5 million in legal fees

BY: - July 3, 2020

Iowa taxpayers could be hit with almost $5 million in legal expenses tied to a recent court decision finding the state had “tortured” youth housed at the Boys State Training School in Eldora. In March, U.S. District Judge Stephanie Rose held the state liable for violating the constitutional rights of children at the school, which […]

A Des Moines police sergeant has a history of excessive force. Protesters ask: Why is he still there?

BY: - July 3, 2020

Dustin Burnikel was visiting Des Moines for an Iowa high school state wrestling tournament in 2013 with his family.    After he watched his nephew finish his match late in the evening, Burnikel went out to El Bait Shop with his cousin and a friend for a couple of beers. Around 1:30 a.m., while waiting for […]

Roberts joins Supreme Court’s four liberal judges in striking down Louisiana abortion law

BY: - June 29, 2020

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday struck down a controversial Louisiana law that critics said would have severely limited access to abortion in Louisiana and opened the door to further abortion limitations around the country. The ruling was hailed as a major victory by advocates of reproductive rights. Enacted in 2014 by the […]


Should the president pick the attorney general?

BY: - June 28, 2020

Attorney General William Barr recently announced, late on a Friday, that Geoffrey Berman was “stepping down after two-and-a-half years of service as United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York.” This announcement was news to Berman, who later contradicted Barr by declaring that he had not resigned and indeed had no intention of […]

Four Iowa law enforcement agencies among those hit by ‘Blue Leaks’ hack

BY: - June 26, 2020

Four Iowa law enforcement organizations are among the 200 police agencies whose data was stolen earlier this month as part of the so-called “Blue Leaks” computer hack. The Iowa Law Enforcement Academy, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Iowa, the Midwest Counter-Drug Training Center in Johnston and the Iowa Fusion Centre are […]

Three Republicans join House Democrats in passing sweeping police reform

BY: - June 25, 2020

WASHINGTON — The U.S. House passed a sweeping police reform package Thursday night in response to massive civil unrest over police brutality. The package cleared the chamber largely along partisan lines, with 236 lawmakers (mostly Democrats) voting for it and 181 lawmakers (180 Republicans and one Independent) voting against it. Three Republicans sided with Democrats […]

AARP calls for immediate, mandatory COVID-19 testing in Iowa care facilities

BY: - June 25, 2020

AARP Iowa says it is “outraged” by 11 COVID-19 deaths at an Iowa nursing home where symptomatic employees worked alongside vulnerable seniors. The organization is calling for immediate, mandatory testing in all of the state’s nursing home and assisted living facilities. Iowa Capital Dispatch reported earlier this week about employment conditions and infections at the […]

Des Moines Black Lives Matter leader arrested, accused of damage at Hy-Vee protest

BY: - June 24, 2020

A leader from Des Moines Black Lives Matter was charged with 1st-degree criminal mischief on Wednesday after he allegedly vandalized a police vehicle during a protest outside Hy-Vee Saturday afternoon, according to Sgt. Paul Parizek, spokesperson for Des Moines police. Matthew Bruce, a leader in the local group, turned himself in to Des Moines police […]

Democrats block GOP’S ‘weak’ police reform bill

BY: - June 24, 2020

WASHINGTON — Senate Democrats blocked a GOP police reform bill Wednesday because they said it fails to adequately respond to police brutality against people of color. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., sought to clear a procedural hurdle Wednesday so he could bring the bill to the floor for Senate consideration. But the legislation fell […]

Governor’s task force to study recommendations on racial profiling by police

BY: - June 24, 2020

Gov. Kim Reynolds’ task force on criminal justice will shift its attention toward issues related to racial inequities in policing, including possible legislative proposals to ban racial profiling and traffic stops that improperly target drivers of color. The move comes just days after the Des Moines City Council adopted an ordinance that bans targeting people […]

Supreme Court rejects Trump administration challenge to DACA

BY: - June 18, 2020

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday salvaged an Obama-era program that has allowed hundreds of thousands of young, unauthorized immigrants known as “Dreamers” to remain in the country without immediate fear of deportation. In a 5-4 decision, Chief Justice John Roberts sided with the court’s liberal wing in finding that the Trump administration […]

Senate GOP unveils police reform bill that draws Democratic rebukes

BY: - June 17, 2020

WASHINGTON — Senate Republicans unveiled a police reform bill Wednesday that takes a markedly different approach to legislation proposed by congressional Democrats. The Senate GOP bill would give police departments incentives to ban chokeholds, increase the use of body-worn cameras, improve training in de-escalation tactics and take prior records into greater account when making hiring […]