KENOSHA - Following the leadership of the Blake family and organizers on the ground in Kenosha, including Leaders of Kenosha, Kenosha Accountability Coalition, United As 1, United Black Men and Women, Black Underground Recycling, Education Youth, All of Us or None, Regimen Barber Collective, SAC, BLAK (Black Lives Activists of Kenosha), Humanity First Coalition, Kenosha Pride, Breaking Barriers Mentoring Inc, The People's Revolution, and ComForce, the ACLU of Wisconsin on Thursday called for the removal of Kenosha Police officer Rusten Sheskey from his position, arguing that Sheskey’s brutal shooting of Jacob Blake several times in the back proves that he can no longer be trusted to serve and protect the community.

On Tuesday, Kenosha District Attorney Graveley declined to bring charges against Sheskey for shooting Blake.

“Although Officer Sheskey will not face criminal charges for his actions, there should still be consequences for his use of excessive force against Jacob Blake,” said Chris Ott, executive director of the ACLU of Wisconsin. “Officer Sheskey needlessly shot Mr. Blake seven times, which, at a minimum, raises serious questions about his ability to carry out his duties as a police officer in a responsible and ethical manner. Officer Sheskey's disciplinary history, including allegations of racial profiling and excessive force in two traffic stops, add to those questions. At this point, allowing Officer Sheskey to remain on the force would deepen the distrust community members already have for the police and put the safety of Kenosha residents at risk.”

“What happened to Mr. Blake traumatized Kenoshans and Americans across the country, especially Black people, who have had to bear witness to and endure generations of police violence throughout history. Healing those wounds — and building a system predicated on justice and equality — starts with accountability. The entrenched police and prosecutorial cultures that repeatedly decline to hold white officers who kill or injure Black people accountable at the same time consistently over-police, over-charge and over-incarcerate Black people, especially Black men. While the ACLU does not endorse the tendency of prosecutors to overcharge defendants in normal cases, it is ironic to hear a prosecutor claim that he cannot bring charges against a police officer unless he can disprove beyond a reasonable doubt that an officer does not have an argument for self-defense.”