Kenosha officials and business owners were preparing for unrest ahead of the expected charging decision in the shooting incident of Jacob Blake. Community leaders and family members of Blake urged police and prosecutors to fire the officer Rusten Sheskey who shot Jacob Blake. The incident left Blake paralyzed, and it sparked protests across the nation against police violence.
Justin Blake, a family member of Jacob Blake, said that officer Sheskey needs to be fired and made to face the court. He hoped that the Blake family would get justice someday.
Kenosha Prepares For Unrest Ahead Of Jacob Blake Decision
Michael Gravely, Kenosha County District Attorney, said that he plans to release the decision on whether to charge the officer next week. However, a specific date is not provided, and residents of Kenosha are gearing up for some unrest in the region.
The Governor said that he had mobilized 500 Wisconsin National Guard troops to support local law enforcement agencies to handle the situation. The city is also planning to impose curfews during the eight days to avoid any untoward incidents.
Due to the widespread unrest that was triggered in this region following the shooting incident in August, the authorities have taken a decision to impose a curfew across the city. However, several people from the local community feel that imposing a curfew can lead to more violence as it incites anger among the residents. The city estimates that violence and vandalism can cost millions in property damage, and such measures are needed to avoid problems in the long run.
Apart from the curfew, bus services are reduced, and roads are closed in sensitive areas. The authorities also put up fences and concrete barricades around the Kenosha County Courthouse, which has become the focal point for the unrest that happened in august.
Several businesses were boarding up windows and doors to avoid damage during the protests. The local business community felt that vandalism could happen this time also if there is any unexpected announcement from the court. For this reason, they plan to take safety measures and close down the businesses around the verdict.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Wisconsin urged the city to avoid issuing a curfew as this can curb the protesters’ right to free speech. The ACLU said that the right to protest in a traditional public forum like streets and sidewalks should not be infringed just because some people have behaved violently in the past.
The ACLU also argued that the police largely ignored dozens of armed men who showed up at protests and instead ticketed those protesting for racial justice for curfew violations in August.
The family members of Blake urged for justice but also sought non-violence from the community members. They asked the community members to make as much noise as they can but avoid destruction during the protests.
Michael Bell, whose son was fatally shot by the police in 2004, said that he was not optimistic about the district attorney. He said that the DA was all set to clear the police of any wrongdoing and similar things happened with his son’s case. The family members of Blake said that they are going to take the case to the federal leaders if the officer is not charged in the shooting case.
Meanwhile, Jacob Blake is working hard in physical therapy, and his family hopes that he will be able to walk one day again. The family members of Blake said that they are ready to continue the fight irrespective of the decision that was going to come in the next few days. The family also urged the crowd to stay healthy and safeguard themselves against covid during the protests.