Marc H. Morial, President and CEO of the National Urban League, James Hall, Interim President and CEO of the Urban League of Racine and Kenosha, along with Dr. Eve Hall, President and CEO of the Milwaukee Urban League, and Dr. Ruben Anthony, President and CEO of the Urban League of Greater Madison, issued the following joint statement calling for immediate action by those overseeing Kenosha law enforcement:
“Over the past week, the world has witnessed in Kenosha, Wisconsin what black and brown Americans experience every day – the uneven and sometimes deadly policing practices of law enforcement. This modern day Jim Crow behavior must end in Kenosha and across America.
“As videotape accounts show, on August 23rd Jacob Blake, an unarmed black man, was shot seven times in the back by a Kenosha police officer. Yet just three days later, Kenosha law enforcement allowed a member of a white militia group to openly carry a military-grade weapon among peaceful protestors and did nothing to apprehend this armed individual after he murdered two people and shot a third, despite the fact people in the crowd identified him as the violent individual responsible for the shootings. Law enforcement let this individual walk away from the carnage he created; Jacob Blake may never walk again.
“We demand independent investigations by the U.S. Department of Justice into the policing practices that occurred in these incidents and for it to determine the extent of the unequal treatment from Kenosha law enforcement that people of color endure compared to whites. We call on the Wisconsin Department of Justice to launch the same investigation using the resources and powers of the State of Wisconsin. This includes complete investigations of the individual officers captured on videotape the night of August 26 thanking members of armed militias for their presence.
“We also demand the Kenosha Common Council and the Kenosha Fire and Police Commission immediately launch a full and independent investigation into the actions of the Kenosha Police Department and Police Chief Daniel Miskinis surrounding these two incidents. We also call for a full and independent investigation by the Kenosha County Board of Supervisors into the actions of Kenosha Sheriff David Best and his department regarding the incidents of August 23 and August 26 and immediately thereafter.
“We thank those who protest peacefully. We recognize law enforcement who fairly protect all citizens and distribute justice equally. But to reclaim our communities, action must be taken against those who promote lawlessness in any form.”