The Wisconsin chapters of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, both a part of Everytown for Gun Safety’s grassroots network, released the following statement following the announcement that there would be no charges against Officer Rusten Sheskey for the shooting of Jacob Blake. Sheskey shot Blake, a Black man, in the back seven times as he was getting into a car in August of last year. Blake’s family stated that his three children were in the car at the time of the shooting. Blake is now paralyzed from the waist down.
“No charge could change the fact that Jacob Blake is paralyzed from the waist down or heal the trauma that he and his family have suffered, but they deserve accountability,” said Khary Penebaker, a volunteer with the Wisconsin chapter of Moms Demand Action and member of the Everytown Survivor Network. “We stand with the Kenosha community, demanding justice and changes to a system in which Black people are wounded and killed by those who are supposed to be protecting them. As a new legislative session begins, leaders in the Wisconsin legislature must answer the calls to adopt common-sense police accountability and public safety laws that ensure all Wisconsinites are served.”
Research shows that meaningful use of force policies encourage de-escalation, utilize early intervention systems, and ensure that officers who act in a manner that is criminally negligent can be held accountable. Use of force policies can ensure that laws help advance safety.
Black people in the United States are far more likely to be shot and killed by law enforcement than their white counterparts, and data from Mapping Police Violence shows that most people killed by police are killed with guns. Mapping Police Violence shows that 109 people have been shot and killed by police between 2013 and 2019 in Wisconsin and that 99% of killings by the police from 2013-2019 did not result in officers being charged with a crime. Black Americans are shot and killed by police at nearly three times the rate of white Americans.