BLOC Statement on the shooting of Jacob Blake

From this afternoon’s email: this press release from Black Leaders Organizing for Communities:

Once again, we as a Black people have to bear the trauma of witnessing yet another unarmed Black person be shot by a police officer. We stand with Jacob Blake and his family, which includes his own children who watched as their father was gunned down, and wish him a speedy and healthy recovery.

There is no other way to describe this other than attempted murder, and we fully expect DEMOCRATIC Kenosha District Attorney Michael Gravely to charge and prosecute him as expeditously (sic) as possible. To not do so would be another slap to the face of the Black community and could have disastrous consequences.

Unfortunately, reforming the police will not end police brutality. We don’t need to replace “bad apples”, more body cameras, more trainings or more “community policing initiaitves (sic).”

The only way to end police brutality is to invest into our futures. Invest into our lives so that we can live healthy, long, thriving lives, instead of living in fear that at any moment our lives will be taken if we move the wrong way. Investing in our futures, by removing power from police departments, honors the memory of those who were not as fortunate: Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, Tyrese West, Syville Smith, Dontre Hamilton, Ernest Lacey and many others.

As it happens we’re at a critical time to address this in the City of Milwaukee. Tomorrow Mayor Tom Barrett will present his outline of the current state of the city budget. We expect him to stick to his usual lines of the state reducing shared revenues, the large upcoming pension payment and need for more taxes, plus the impact of COVID. At a time when we need more investments into services and neighborhoods we can expect to see Mayor Barrett propose less.

We’re living in unprecedented times that call for unprecedented efforts. It’s time to think beyond the status quo solutions that have been put forward for decades and dig deep to address the fundamental needs and demands of the people and ensure that no one is ever harmed at the hands of police again.


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