On Sunday, 29 year old Jacob Blake was shot in the back 7 times, in front of his children, by Kenosha police officers. In a historic summer centered on affirming that Black Lives Matter, once again the police have shown an absolute disregard for Black life. There is no excuse for the officers’ actions. Not complying with the police does not justify shooting an individual in the back, and the violent behavior of these officers stands in stark contrast to the peaceful actions of Jacob Blake, who was simply trying to de-escalate a fight.
Police violence against Black people is not new. Just like in the aftermath of the killing of George Floyd and so many others, there will be calls to charge and fire the officers involved in the violence against Blake. As this happens, do not allow the police to warp the narrative around this shooting. Do not allow the police or anyone else to justify this violence or diminish this harm by emphasizing any current or past allegations of wrongdoing.
We must use this time to fundamentally change the systems that allow officers to go without accountability for their actions - e.g., police indemnity, the process of charging & prosecuting officers for their crimes, and the actions (or inaction) of those who can influence what policing looks like. Do not forget about those, like Breonna Taylor, whose killers have not yet been held accountable.
We at the Legal Rights Center condemn this and all other acts of police brutality, and will continue to seek widespread change in the criminal legal system. We hope for Jacob Blake’s recovery as he fights for his life, and we stand with him, his family and the community in calling for justice. To support protestors in Kenosha, please consider donating to the Milwaukee Freedom Fund here: https://supportwomenshealth.salsalabs.org/mkefreedomfund/index.html
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