Mayor John Antaramian and Chief of Police Daniel Miskinis of Kenosha, Wisconsin wrote an open letter in the Kenosha News stating they are “preparing for the announcement” of the results of the investigation of the shooting of Jacob Blake in August.
“Like many of you, we live or work in Kenosha. We care about Kenosha,” the letter opens. “And, like you, we are awaiting the Kenosha County District Attorney’s decision regarding the incident involving Jacob Blake and Kenosha police on August 23, 2020.”
Blake was shot in the back several times by Officer Rusten Sheskey, and survived. The incident was captured on video and sparked national outrage and protests.
An investigation of the shooting is being conducted by the Wisconsin Department of Justice, according to the letter published Sunday (December 27).
“The Wisconsin Department of Justice, independent of the City of Kenosha, conducted the investigation, so we don’t know what that decision will be or when it will be announced,” the mayor and police chief wrote.
“What we do know is that regardless of the decision, people will have differing opinions and strong emotions about it. That is everyone’s right. Whether you agree or disagree, we ask that you express your opinions peacefully and lawfully,” they continued.
The officials said they are “preparing for the announcement” and are working with local, state, and federal authorities “to organize a plan that is designed to keep people safe.” During the protests immediately following the shooting involving Blake, two people were fatally shot and another was injured by 17-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse, who is currently facing murder charges.
“We will not –– we can not –– tolerate the kind of the violence we saw on our streets earlier this year and we will take definitive steps to protect our residents and businesses,” they wrote.
In an interview with WTMJ-TV, local pastor Rev. Jonathan Barker said he hoped for justice for Blake and that city officials “will continue to follow through with the reforms they have worked on, started on, and promised.”
“If we don’t get justice for our community where we are standing, here in Uptown, is going to be incredibly hurt, and there is going to be a tremendous loss of trust,” Rev. Barker said.
Mayor Antaramian and Chief Miskinis ended the letter by saying, “We assure you that we are committed to being on the right path. The work is not quick or easy, but we are building a better and stronger Kenosha for all.”
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