Shesky, a white officer, killed Blake, a 29-year-old black man, while working on the 23rd. August 2020 responded to a national incident. Blake survived the shooting, but was left paralyzed from the waist down.
The city of Kenosha has been missing, said Gregory Bennett Jr. Founder of the activist organization Peace in the Streets Kenosha Inc. Kenosha doesn’t like the locals as much as she likes Kenosha.
The day after the shooting, the state government set up a racial inequality task force. But little has been done in recent months to overcome the public’s distrust of the police.
In November 2020, the city approved the immediate financing of the agents’ cameras. State and local government officials issued statements this week calling for unit in Kenosha and police reform, following a decision by Kenosha County Attorney Michael Gravely.
Some in the community say it’s not enough.
You have to start acting behind those I hear, I understand, let’s see, Kenosha activist and Time magazine’s 2020 Guardians of the Year, Bennett-Bey, told CNN Porsche Bennett-Bey, one of Time magazine’s 2020 Guardians of the Year.
campaigners call for termination of Shesky
Shesky and the other officers involved in Blake’s shooting were placed on administrative leave after the shooting.
As of Tuesday the Kenosha police said that all officers are still on administrative leave.
Some activists have said they would like to see an indictment filed, especially because Blake was shot in front of his children.
They could at least charge him (Shesky) with excessive use of force or something else, Bennett-Bey said. You didn’t accuse him of anything.
Others said they wanted the police to fire Shesky.
I’ve had a few conversations with the family about a complaint that this officer should investigate, said activist Vaughn Mayes.
At a press conference Tuesday, the prosecutor seriously pointed out that Blake had a knife – and said that Shesky had used the right amount of violence in the situation.
CNN has contacted the city of Kenosha and the police department for input from mayor John Antaramian and police chief Daniel Miskinis.
A city spokesman gave CNN a joint statement on 5 January from the city and the police department stating that all civil servants are still on administrative leave.
On Tuesday, however, Antaramian and Miskinis appeared in a video uploaded to the Kenosha Police Department’s YouTube page, in which they talk about their plans to improve the city’s relationship with the community.
Before the incident on the 23rd. In August, we were on our way to bring citizens together and have honest discussions about the future of our community. I assure you the mission will continue, Antaramian said in the video.
Miskinis said the police’s use of force was remarkable.
He stated that the country has recognized the need for more intensive police work with the community. Here at Kenosha, we strive to do better, build better relationships and have more confidence.
Although local officials have issued reports of peace and unity, activists said their actions spoke louder than their words in the period leading up to the DA’s decision.
They called in the National Guard for the peaceful protesters here, said Bennett, quoting Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers, who mobilized 500 National Guard members at the request of the local authorities. They have all these laws to protect civil servants, but no laws to protect civilians.
Task Force described as a showcase
Even before Blake was shot, Governor Evers, a Democrat, tried to get the legislature to debate and take action on criminal justice reform.
Last June, Evers and Lieutenant Colonel Mandela Barnes announced a package of nine bills to reform police accountability and transparency. According to Evers, the statement was made following the deaths of George Floyd and Brenna Taylor.
The day after Blake’s shooting, Evers called on the legislature for a special session – scheduled for the 31st. August 2020 – to tackle problems faster. On the day of the special session, however, Republicans and defendants began 30-second intervals in both houses, reporting CNN-connected WDJT-TV.
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Instead of a special session, the Republican President of the House, Robin Vos, announced the creation of a Task Force on Racial Inequality. He announced in October that the task force would include four legislators and 28 members of the community.
We know that only by listening and learning from each other, Wisconsin can move forward together, according to Vos.
Wayne Strong, a member of the task force and a retired Madison police officer, told Kenosha News that he remembers what someone said at the first meeting in October: I didn’t want to be in the dog and pony show.
Bennett told CNN that these meetings were pointless for him.
We can call a meeting, but it’s no nonsense if nothing comes out of the meeting, he said.
Ms. Bennett-Bey said she attends many meetings and hearings, but believes the community should be more involved in the legislative process.
Either you hear us walking down the street or you hear us at these meetings, she said.
The Blake family is planning to go to DC.
Blake’s father, Jacob Blake Sr. said the family doesn’t expect charges to be laid when the National Guard calls.
Blake’s family and supporters made promises after the prosecutor announced they would fight in Washington.
Now our fight has to go for Congress, it has to go for the Senate, Blake’s father, Jacob Blake Sr., said at a press conference Tuesday.
We’ll protest directly in the offices. Let’s go to Nancy (Pelosi) first… Then we’ll go to the Senate until we’re seen, until we’re heard.
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Bishop Tavis Grant, national director of Rainbow PUSH, the Chicago-based nonprofit organization founded by Reverend Jesse Jackson, told CNN that he and the Blake family intend to be proactive, not reactive.
Those who want to take up arms have failed to exercise civil rights, not to take lives, but to save lives, according to Grant.
Activists have indicated on their website that they are always looking for ways to make a difference in the community.
Everyone who went there, everyone who lobbied, everyone who pushed people to go out and vote and everyone who pushed people to do something felt that it was pointless, Bennett said.
Anyone who really had a voice and a sense of being heard would be spat at. If you want us to feel that we are being heard, put the pen on the paper and start writing and changing these laws that protect the citizens.
Kelsey Smith, Omar Jimenez, Kay Jones, Nicole Chavez and Madeline Holcomb of CNN contributed to this report.