MILWAUKEE – State Rep. David Bowen (D-Milwaukee) released the following statement in response to Kenosha County DA Michael Graveley’s decision to not levy charges against Kenosha police officer Rusten Sheskey or others involved in the shooting of Jacob Blake:
“As heartbreaking as this decision is to see, I am not surprised to see yet another miscarriage of justice in a police-involved shooting. DA Graveley and other law enforcement experts may sincerely believe that no laws were broken when Jacob Blake was shot, but that just proves one thing: if what we saw in that shooting was ‘legal,’ it’s time to change the laws. And the fact is that myself and Democrats across the state have brought forth laws for change, but Republicans have refused to allow a vote on any of them.”
On August 23, 2020, Kenosha resident Jacob Blake was shot seven times in the back by Kenosha police officer Rusten Sheskey. At the time, video of the incident spread quickly across social media, national news, and international news as yet another Black man suffered grievous shooting injuries at the hands of a white police officer.
“At the end of the day, whether Jacob Blake was somewhere he shouldn’t have been, or even that Jacob Blake was armed with a knife is not the piece that is in question – at no point has anyone said that Jacob Blake couldn’t have made better decisions that day. Ultimately, this is about the incredible latitude that our police officers have to use deadly force against individuals who have the right to live and see their day in court without life altering injuries or death. Whether or not Jacob Blake was resisting arrest, and even whether or not Jacob Blake had a knife should not make it okay for an individual to unload seven shots into another at point-blank range. Statistically white people do all of those things including leaving the scene and are not met with deadly force. This fight for justice for countless others is not over, and I remain committed to partnering with the masses of citizens who are still demanding and protesting for change to advance substantive reform legislation this Session and every other chance I get.”