State Rep. Jonathan Brostoff
Press Release

Rep. Brostoff Statement on Police-Abetted Terrorism in Kenosha


By - Aug 26th, 2020 12:50 pm

MILWAUKEE – In response to last night’s police-abetted acts of terrorism in Kenosha, State Representative Jonathan Brostoff (D-Milwaukee) released the following statement:

“I am sick. Last night, a white terrorist was allowed to cross state lines, enter Kenosha, rub elbows with and receive encouragement from Kenosha police officers, and then go on to murder two protesters and injure a third. And when he walked towards the police, hands up, after having fired upon protesters just a few hundred feet down the road, he was allowed to walk free, undisturbed. And only this morning did the police begin conducting a search for him and asking for tips from the public, after they had both cause and the opportunity to arrest him immediately after he had murdered two people! And even before these horrific murders, members of this terrorist group were broadcasting their violent intentions: one member went so far as to say ‘Leave a pile of them and burn the bodies, that’ll make them open their eyes.’ Despite that and other clear incitements to violence, the Kenosha police allowed these violent terrorists to roam the streets with impunity, and even gave them support! In what world is this acceptable policing? Where are the ‘good cops’? At best, this is criminal negligence by the Kenosha Police Department; at worst it is complicity. And at the end of the day, whether through negligence or complicity, Kenosha police abetted an act of terrorism last night.”

Last night in Kenosha, armed white terrorist “militia” members descended upon the city with the publicly stated goal of “aiding law enforcement” in protecting property in the city. Social media accounts describe open coordination between militia members and members of the Kenosha Police Department in advance of the evening, and eyewitness accounts and video from last night show police officers joking around with, thanking, and giving water to the armed terrorists. At around 11:45pm, one of those “militia” members opened fire on protesters, killing one. Subsequently, the armed man ran away, at one point falling down and opening fire once again on protesters who attempted to disarm him, killing one and injuring another. When this armed terrorist walked up to police who had been stationed just a few hundred feet down the road, they drove right past him and let him escape into the night without questioning or arrest. As of this afternoon, 17-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse has been arrested in Illinois in connection with the murders, and will face extradition proceedings later this week.

“Through their actions and inactions last night, Kenosha Police have proven that they cannot be trusted to protect human life in Kenosha during these tense times. I am calling for an immediate and full investigation by the FBI and Wisconsin Department of Justice to find out how many Kenosha police officers knew of this terrorist militia’s intentions, how many provided them support, and which officers allowed an armed murderer to walk away without any consequences for his actions. These actions represent an abdication of duty on the part of the Kenosha Police Department, and investigators should not only prosecute them to the fullest extent of the law, but they should also work with the affected community in order to determine viable paths forward to maintain public safety while making sure nothing like this ever happens again.

There were protests in the street because police acted in direct opposition to public safety when they shot Jacob Blake. And community mistrust in the police was only reinforced when activists witnessed law enforcement refuse to protect them from terrorists and murders.

Although last night’s events show that the Kenosha Police Department may not understand this, let me shout it clearly and concisely so that everyone can understand: Human life is more precious than property! Black Lives Matter!”

Mentioned in This Press Release

Recent Press Releases by State Rep. Jonathan Brostoff

Rep. Brostoff Statement on Gov. Evers’ ‘21-’23 Biennial Budget

“A Bold Biennial Budget That Will… Move Our State Forward”

Rep. Brostoff Statement on Gov. Evers’ Mental Health Budget Initiatives

“Join Me in Thanking Governor Evers for This Important Move”

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