MADISON, Wis. — One year ago today, a Kenosha police officer shot Jacob Blake seven times in the back. In the days that followed, Blake fought for his life while his family and community watched anxiously. Our hearts are with the Blake family, and as we look back on a moment that was filled with sorrow and anger, we must also look ahead to the work that must be done to change a broken system and create genuine public safety.
This tragic anniversary is a reminder that not enough has changed. The officer not only faced no charges for brutalizing Blake, but also continues to be on active duty with the Kenosha police department. Moreover, the system that enabled the shooting remains largely unchanged. Another vision of public safety is possible— one where all of our families can move through our communities unthreatened, where our schools help our children learn and grow, and where there are good jobs that put food on our tables and a roof over our heads.
A Better Wisconsin Together Executive Director Chris Walloch commented, “For many, 2020 was an awakening to police brutality and systemic racism, while, for others, dismantling white supremacy has been a life-long or generations long fight. This work continues, as countless Black Americans are harassed, brutalized, or even killed every day. We still stand with Jacob Blake and the many other victims of violence at the hands of the people who are charged with protecting us.”