MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Minnesota’s Democratic leaders are condemning the weekend police shooting in southern Wisconsin where an officer was recorded shooting a Black man in the back.
The shooting happened Sunday evening in Kenosha, which is about halfway between Milwaukee and Chicago. Cellphone video shows a white officer shooting Jacob Blake, 29, several times as he tried to get into an SUV. Blake survived, but is currently in serious condition.
Following the shooting, protesters gathered in the streets of Kenosha, setting cars on fire and clashing with police. The scene was reminiscent of what happened in the Twin Cities in May after the police killing of George Floyd.
On Monday, Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden called for an immediate and thorough investigation, adding that the officers involved must be held accountable. Meanwhile, Republicans in Wisconsin and elsewhere denounced the violent protests and urged Americans not to rush to judgement.
In Minnesota, Gov. Tim Walz called the shooting a “horrifying event,” saying that his family is praying for Blake and his sons, who were in the SUV when their father was shot. Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan called for an end to the “racist systems that perpetuate violence against Black people.”
I’m praying for Jacob Blake, his children and loved ones, and for Kenosha. Here we are in the aftermath of yet another incident of police shooting a Black man. We must use our anger and grief to end the racist systems that perpetuate violence against Black people.
— Lt. Governor Peggy Flanagan (@LtGovFlanagan) August 24, 2020
Sen. Tina Smith (D) urged Americans to wake up to the reality of racial injustice.
“We must harness our anger to end the systemic racism and unaccountable violence that is killing Black and Brown people,” she said.
Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers said that while all the details surrounding the shooting are not yet known, this is not the first time that a Black man has been shot, hurt of killed by law enforcement in Wisconsin. “We stand against excessive use of force and immediate escalation when engaging with Black Wisconsinites,” he said.
On Monday afternoon, Evers signed an executive order to call the Wisconsin Legislature into a special session on policing accountability and transparency.