Zao MKE Church Statement on Police Confiscation of Humanitarian Aid
MILWAUKEE/KENOSHA, WI, September 2020 – For immediate release: A U-Haul truck containing around $1,000 worth of food, water, medical supplies, COVID-19 masks, fire extinguishers, and other humanitarian aid, sent the afternoon of Wednesday, August 26th from Zao MKE Church in Milwaukee to aid protestors in Kenosha, was stopped by police. All supplies were confiscated, and the driver was detained.
After recent responses by media outlets and police, Zao MKE Church has released the following statement:
“On August 26th, Zao MKE Church attempted to provide humanitarian aid in the form of water, Gatorade, food, and first aid supplies to peaceful protestors legally exercising their First Amendment rights to free speech and assembly.
Law enforcement on both a local and federal level forcibly and unconstitutionally seized these items without legal justification in violation of the protestors’ Fourth Amendment rights under the United States Constitution.
Zao MKE Church feels that all persons should be free to peacefully stand up against systemic racism, and should not be denied access to food and water while doing so.
Rather than return these items of humanitarian aid to the church, Zao MKE Church requests that law enforcement in Kenosha distribute these items to their rightful recipients – the unarmed and peaceful protestors advocating for Black Lives Matter.”
Zao MKE Church has operated a large-scale supply depot for protests in support of the Black Lives Matter movement since early June. The depot is open daily, from 6 pm – 10 pm on weekdays and 10 am – 10 pm on weekends, with a staff person on-call 24/7. It is entirely staffed by volunteers, and stocked through community donations.
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Read more about Kenosha Unrest here