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OWR Statement on The Justice Department’s Jacob Blake Decision

10/9/2021

Yesterday, we learned that the Justice Department will not pursue federal criminal civil rights charges against Kenosha Police Department officer Rusten Sheske for his involvement in the Aug 23, 2020 shooting of 30-year-old Jacob Blake. Not only is this a slap in the face to the Blake family, but to all who stood and protested nationally, for weeks on end, in the name of justice. Despite the massive protests following the death of George Floyd, and despite campaign promises of many opportunistic politicians; we continue to see police commit heinous human rights abuses with complete impunity across this nation. This is not only a failure of the police departments themselves, but the failure of a system that refuses to hold power accountable. Communities of color are supposed to look to the justice system for protection. How can this be possible when time and time again the system proves the protection of institutions is more important than the protection of black lives? Agree with the wording or not, calls to defund the police were born of these continued injustices. The system was built not to protect and serve communities of color, but to conquer and control them. It is clear that this system cannot be reformed. A fundamentally broken system leaves no other option than being torn down and built anew. America requires a justice system that puts human life first, not property, not capital, not profits. It is time for the justice system to reflect the constitutional value that all are created equal. Until there is justice for all, there can be no true justice. 

Our Wisconsin Revolution calls for an end to qualified immunity and broken windows policing, and for police, who are involved in violent cases, to be independently investigated and prosecuted. We stand firmly behind the Blake family and the activists who continue to fight for a justice system that treats communities of color with respect and dignity.

Executive Director

Andre Walton