State Watch

Democratic senator: Violence in Wisconsin ‘not advancing the cause of racial justice’

Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) said Wednesday that days of unrest in Wisconsin after the police shooting of Jacob Blake, a Black man, is not “advancing the cause of racial justice.”

“The vandalism, armed militia, gun violence and fatal shootings in Kenosha are not advancing the cause of racial justice in the wake of the police shooting of Jacob Blake. Elected officials at the state and federal level must answer the call of peaceful protests and take action to bring about the change we need,” Baldwin said in a statement.

Kenosha, Wis., has been rocked by days of protests that have at times turned violent following the police shooting of Blake, who was shot multiple times at close range Sunday in an incident captured on video.

Blake underwent surgery Tuesday and a lawyer representing his family said he was paralyzed from the waist down. Blake’s family said they are launching a civil suit against the Kenosha Police Department.

Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers (D) has already activated the National Guard to respond to unrest in the city over the shooting and indicated that he intends to increase their presence, a move Baldwin said she supports.

“I support Governor Evers’ approach to providing more National Guard support for local law enforcement to help provide safety for the community,” Baldwin said.

President Trump said Wednesday that he would be sending federal law enforcement to Wisconsin and that Evers had agreed to the administration’s offer of assistance, something GOP Sen. Ron Johnson (Wis.) had publicly encouraged him to do Wednesday morning.

Evers’s office didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment on Trump’s tweet. Evers, in a tweet thread posted on Wednesday afternoon, also did not address if he had accepted federal assistance.

The shooting of Blake comes after a summer rocked by several fatal incidents involving police, including the killings of George Floyd in Minneapolis and Breonna Taylor in Kentucky, that have caused months of nationwide protests aimed at ending racial inequality and police violence.

Julia Jackson, Blake’s mother, said Tuesday that the violence and property damage that have occurred in Kenosha since Sunday do not “reflect my son or my family.”

Baldwin, in her statement Wednesday, said Jackson “has shown us the way forward.”

“Systemic racism has plagued our state and country for far too long and we all need to work together in a united way to confront it by moving racial justice forward in Wisconsin and America,” Baldwin added.

Brett Samuels contributed.

Tags Donald Trump Jacob Blake Jacob Blake protests Kenosha police shooting Kenosha protests Ron Johnson Tammy Baldwin Tony Evers

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