White Officer Cesky shot Blake, a 29-year-old black man, while responding to a local incident on August 23, 2020. Blake survived the shooting but was paralyzed from the waist down.
“The city of Kenosha has failed,” said Gregory Bennett Jr., founder of the activist organization. Peace in the streets Kenosha Corporation “Kenosha does not like citizens the way citizens love Kenosha.”
The next day Shooting, the state government has set up a task force on racial disparities. But in the months that followed, little was done to address society’s mistrust of the police.
Some in the community say that is not enough.
Activists demanding the end of Shiski
Cesky and the other officers involved in the shooting of Blake were put on administrative leave after the shooting.
Some activists said they wish there was some kind of accusation leveled, especially since Blake was shot in front of his children.
“At least they could have charged him (esky) with excessive force or something,” Bennett Bay said. “They did not accuse him of anything.”
Others said they wanted the Police Department to fire Cesky.
“I’ve had some conversations with the family about considering filing a complaint for this officer to investigate,” said activist Fawn Mays.
During his press conference on Tuesday, Graveli, the attorney general, pointed out the fact that Blake had a knife – and said that Chesky used the correct amount of force in the situation.
CNN contacted both Kenosha and its police department to request comment from Mayor John Antaramian and Police Chief Daniel Miskinis.
A city spokesman provided CNN with a joint statement from the city and police department released on January 5 in which he said all officers were still on administrative leave.
Antaramian said in the video: “Before the incident of August 23, we were on a path here where we were gathering citizens together and engaging in honest discussions about the future in our community. I assure you that the mission will continue.”
Miskinis said the police use of force deserved scrutiny.
“Throughout this country, there was a specific need to work more seriously on the relationships between the police and the community,” he said. “Here in Kenosha, we are committed to doing a better job, building better relationships and building trust.”
Although local officials conveyed messages of peace and unity, activists said their actions before the attorney general’s decision were louder than words.
Task Force billed as a “dog and pony” show.
Even before Blake was shot, Gov. Evers, a Democrat, was trying to get the legislature to debate and implement criminal justice reform.
“We know that by listening and learning from each other, Wisconsin can move forward together,” Voss said in a statement.
Bennett told CNN the meetings don’t really mean anything to him.
“We can have a meeting, but there will be nothing if nothing comes out of the meeting,” he said.
Bennett Bay said she has gone to a lot of meetings and hearings – but said she believes the community needs more involvement in the law-making process.
“Either you hear us walking out on the streets, or you will hear us in these meetings,” she said.
The Blake family plans to go to the capital
Blake’s father, Jacob Blake Sr, said the family had not expected charges to be brought when the National Guard was called in.
“Now our fight must go before Congress, and it must pass before the Senate,” Blake’s father, Jacob Blake, said Tuesday during a news conference.
“We’ll protest directly in the offices. We’ll go see Nancy (Pelosi) first … then we’ll go see the Senate” until we see, “until we hear.”
Bishop Tavis Grant, national field director for Rainbow PUSH, a Chicago-based non-profit organization founded by Reverend Jesse Jackson, told CNN that he and the Blake family plan to be “proactive, not interactive.”
“Those who wanted to take up arms failed to fulfill civil rights,” Grant said. “His aim was not to take lives, but to save lives.”
On the home front, activists said they still sought to change society.
“Everyone who walked, everyone who pressed, everyone pushed people to go to vote and everyone who pushed people to do something felt wasted,” Bennett said.
“Everyone had a real voice and felt as though they were being heard. He was spitting. If you want to feel heard, you have to put pen to paper and start writing and changing these laws that protect citizens.”
CNN’s Kelly Smith, Omar Jimenez, Kay Jones, Nicole Chavez, and CNN’s Madeleine Holcomb contributed to this report.
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