Statement on the Shooting of Jacob Blake, the Damage to Kenosha, and the Special Session
(MADISON)—Today, Senator Tim Carpenter issued the following statement regarding the police shooting that took place in Kenosha on Sunday, and the events of the last 3 nights:
“I wish Jacob Blake a swift recovery, I hope that we may be able to hear his side of what happened Sunday evening. My sincere sympathy goes to his children and family, who witnessed Mr. Blake being shot. I hope that they can recover from that trauma.
“We need to honor the wishes of Jacob Blake’s family, who have asked for healing and change. Let any actions that you take be for peace, for the healing of Kenosha, its people, for communities across our state, and the healing of our country.
“Do not travel to Kenosha during the hours of the curfew in place there. The presence of people from other communities is not helpful to the situation that is occurring there. It is inappropriate and dangerous to take matters into one’s own hands as a vigilante, this behavior has cost lives. We need to allow the people of Kenosha and law enforcement to work together to keep their community safe.
“Kenosha has seen its share of difficulty in the past. When Chrysler Corp. acquired AMC and halted production in 1988, it devastated the local economy, but Kenosha built itself back up stronger than ever. Following the destruction and casualty that has taken place in the last few days, Kenosha is facing another crisis now, but I have every confidence that the good people there will find their way through.
“Although an investigation has not been completed about why Jacob Blake was shot, it is clearly time for our state to take a look at the policies that we have in place and discuss and implement changes. The people of Wisconsin made this clear to us in May, after George Floyd was suffocated. At that time, the Legislative Black Caucus had told us of the need for a Special Session to address these issues.
“Now, after witnessing the events in Kenosha, our collective memory looks back on the moments that we have seen in our state, in our own memories of others who have been killed or treated unfairly. Too many of our fellow Wisconsinites have given up on justice, and feel like they cannot expect to be treated fairly by their government. It is time for the Legislature to show that we have heard the concerns of our citizens of color.
“The time is past for putting together task forces to discuss the existence of racial disparities. We have seen our state score last in metrics detailing drastic differences in education and incarceration for years. We have heard from demonstrators across our state who have brought forward their own solutions. Instead, it is time for us to convene the Legislature and pursue solutions—no more foot dragging, no more excuses and empty platitudes.
“I will be in my seat, prepared to do my job as a State Senator on August 31st. I trust that all of my colleagues will do their job and show up too.”