Activists in Kenosha say they were disappointed and disappointed after the decision not to charge in the shooting of Jacob Blake.

Activists in Kenosha say they were disappointed and disappointed after the decision not to charge in the shooting of Jacob Blake.

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.

The city agreed to immediately fund the body cameras For officers in November 2020. This week, status And the Sweetened Officials released statements calling for unity in Kenosha and police reform following the decision of Kenosha County Prosecutor Michael Graveli.

Some in the community say that is not enough.

They should initiate action behind these. “I hear you.” I understand, “show us,” Porsche Bennett Bay, activist in Kenosha and one of the Time Magazine’s 2020 Guardians of the Year, To CNN.

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.

Starting Tuesday, Kenosha Police said All officers remain on administrative leave.

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.

Tuesday afternoon, however, Antaramian and Meskines in the video, Uploaded to Kenosha Police Department YouTube The page on which they discuss their plans to improve the city’s relationship with the community.

Antaramian said in the video: “Before the incident of August 23, we were on a road here where we were gathering citizens 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.

“They called the National Guard here about the peaceful protesters,” Bennett said, referring to Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers. Mobilize 500 National Guard troops At the request of local officials. “You have all these laws that protect officers, but there are no laws that protect citizens.”

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.

Evers and Lieutenant Mandela Barnes Announced a total of nine bills In June last year, with the aim of reforming police accountability and transparency. This announcement was made in direct response to the killing of George Floyd and Briona TaylorAccording to Evers’ statement.
One day after Blake was shot, Evers called the legislature into a private session Scheduled for August 31, 2020 To address topics more immediately. However, on the day of the special session, Republicans started in the state and seated in both houses within 30 seconds, according to CNN’s WDJT-TV.
Instead of a special session, the President of the Republican Assembly, Robin Voss, announced the formation Ethnic Disparities Task Force. In October, it was announced that four lawmakers and 28 community members would be on the task force.

“We know that by listening and learning from each other, Wisconsin can move forward together,” Voss said in a statement.

Said Wayne Strong, a retired Madison police officer and task force member Kenosha News newspaper That he remembers someone at their first meeting in October saying, “I don’t want to be a part of the dog and pony show.”

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.

Blake’s family and supporters filed a vow after the attorney general announced to Take their fight to Washington, DC.

“Now our battle has to go before Congress, and it has to be before the Senate,” Blake’s father Jacob Blake said on Tuesday during a news conference.

We’ll go to see Nancy (Pelosi) first … Then we’ll go see the Senate, “until we see,” until we hear. “

Activists Kenosha von Mays, Gregory Bennett Jr.and Burch Bennett Bay

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 are a “proactive, not interactive” plan.

“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. They were spitting. If you want to feel heard, you have to put a pen on 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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