January 19, 2005


Charges imminent in election day tire slashing (Cary Spivak & Dan Bice, Jan. 18, 2005, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

What is sure to go down as the most exhaustive and publicized investigation of tire slashings in Milwaukee history will soon end with felony charges - possibly by the end of the week.

Sources close to the probe said this week that officials have finished questioning everybody involved in the election day incident, including Democratic Party staffers in New York, Virginia, Georgia and Maryland. Those activists had traveled to Milwaukee to help with Sen. John Kerry's unsuccessful presidential campaign.

The two most high-profile suspects - Michael Pratt, son of former Acting Mayor Marvin Pratt, and Sowande Omokunde, son of U.S. Rep. Gwen Moore - are still in the mix of those who could face charges.

After all of the police and FBI interviews, sources have indicated that no out-of-state individuals are expected to be charged with slashing the tires of 20 vans and cars rented by the state Republican Party to schlep party faithful to the polls. That seems to mean that Virginia resident Opel Simmons III, the first guy arrested in the case, can breathe easy.

Posted by Orrin Judd at January 19, 2005 9:15 AM

Perhaps you lawyers can explain to me: What's the difference between being arrested and being charged?

Posted by: pj at January 19, 2005 12:09 PM

IANAL, but as I understand it, "charged" is a legal declaration by the state that it intends to prosecute for the commission of a crime. "Arrested" means your person has been physically siezed by the state.

Posted by: Annoying Old Guy at January 19, 2005 12:21 PM


This is a large city daily speaking?


Posted by: Andrew X at January 19, 2005 12:33 PM

I remember hearing just after the election that a GOP official (JC Watts maybe) said that GOP internal polls, which were almost dead on in almost all states, showed Bush taking Wisconsin by 1-2 pts, not losing.

It would be nice if they went back and examined the Wisconsin vote and did indeed find enough bad Kerry votes to give the state to Bush. But with the electoral college already done no one will bother and this will continue to be an issue in Wisconsin (and elsewhere).

Posted by: AWW at January 19, 2005 1:11 PM


I agree. What happened to the value-neutral word "take" in this context?

The press isn't biased. Half-witted displays like this are nothing more than the self-satisfied demand for attention of a two-year-old who thinks he has successfully used the toilet.

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at January 19, 2005 2:36 PM

pj: what AOG said, and also who can and can't do each. A cop can arrest you but he can't really charge you -- that authority belongs to the courts. You aren't formally charged until the document is filed with whatever court has jurisdiction.

Posted by: joe shropshire at January 19, 2005 3:31 PM

What difference between vandals slashing tires and messing with the pc that counts votes?

Posted by: BW-troll at January 19, 2005 3:59 PM

One happened and the other is a paranoid delusion?

Posted by: David Cohen at January 19, 2005 10:22 PM