Milwaukee Common Council
Press Release

Joint Statement on Charging Decision in Jacob Blake Case

From members of the Milwaukee Common Council: Alderman Ashanti Hamilton, Alderman Cavalier Johnson, Alderman Nik Kovac, Alderwoman Nikiya Dodd, Alderwoman Milele A. Coggs, Alderwoman JoCasta Zamarripa, Alderwoman Chantia Lewis, Alderman José G. Pérez and Alderwoman Marina Dimitrijevic

By - Jan 6th, 2021 03:04 pm

His children were in the car. He was walking toward the car. He may never walk again.

Someone shot him in the back seven times, from close range.

This is the United States of America, and anyone that lives here should be shocked to learn that the shooter will walk away without judicial punishment. But once we learn that the paralyzed father wore black skin while the shooter wore a blue uniform, then we’re suddenly not surprised.

This lack of surprise might be the most disturbing thing about the decision announced yesterday by the Kenosha County District Attorney that the man who shot Jacob Blake won’t ever have to face a jury of their peers.

In downtown Milwaukee, Dontre Hamilton took a nap across the street from our City Hall. He was awakened by a police officer who attempted to forcibly search him without cause. Then the officer took out his baton to beat Dontre. The officer then shot him 14 times.

The Milwaukee County District Attorney made the same decision in that 2014 case that the Kenosha District Attorney just did; that no jury will ever decide if the Hamilton family or the Blake family have a chance to witness justice in the wake of tragedy.

In both cases, the District Attorneys pointed to Wisconsin statutes that define the “reasonable” use of police violence and therefore would have made a conviction unlikely in either case. The state law cited by these county prosecutors producing these results means little to the citizens of Milwaukee and Kenosha that don’t want to live in a society where such state-sponsored violence is officially sanctioned.

The system is broken, that much is clear.

Just watch the video of the seven shots that paralyzed Jacob Blake. His children were watching, and now the entire world is watching.

If Wisconsin law says that was justified, then the laws of Wisconsin must change.

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