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Statement from Public Justice on the Police Shooting of Jacob Blake

Statement from Public Justice on the Police Shooting of Jacob Blake

“The tragic and unjustified shooting of Jacob Blake by Kenosha, Wisconsin police on Sunday evening once again underscores the urgency of addressing police brutality, ensuring accountability and demanding comprehensive policing reforms that end police violence against Black communities and families. As legal advocates, we have seen first-hand the impact of systemic and institutional racism on communities of color; as advocates for civil liberties and equality under the law, we join allies and friends in the Black community in demanding real solutions that will address and prevent such violence and inequality in our country. We know the legal community – including Public Justice – has much work to do in responding to, and repairing, the impact of racism on our profession and our country, and we remain committed to the principles we outlined for ourselves and our peers following the senseless murder of George Floyd. It is imperative that we end the doctrine of qualified immunity that has been used to shield officers who murder and maim our Black friends and neighbors and that we not only hold police accountable for their actions, but also hold public officials accountable for their inaction in addressing this senseless violence and implementing real reforms. That’s why we also join our friends at the Leadership Conference on Civil & Human Rights – and more than 400 advocacy groups nationwide – in calling on Congress to take eight immediate steps to begin to address this national crisis. We urge everyone to call, write and email your Members of Congress and insist they immediately support these efforts, too.

Today, we grieve with Jacob Blake’s loved ones and hope for his full recovery. We also stand with those in Kenosha, and across the country, who are demanding real, immediate and systemic change. As legal professionals we believe his shooting, and the murders of too many other Black men, women and children, are an affront to justice. As human beings, we are appalled and offended by the violence and injustice the Black community continues to face. We cannot claim to be a civilized nation until the Black community is safe from the bullets and brutality of the police. Sixty-five years ago this week, Emmett Till was murdered in Mississippi. The shooting of Jacob Blake by police is a wrenching reminder of how little progress our country has made since then. Justice and accountability cannot wait 65 years more.”