The leaders of several Wisconsin law enforcement groups have sent a letter to the state’s most senior Democratic elected officials asking them to refrain from continuing to make premature public statements about the Jacob Blake shooting in Kenosha, Wisconsin, last Sunday.
In the letter, which was addressed to Democratic Gov. Tony Evers and Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes, the law enforcement groups accused them of making “premature, judgmental, and inflammatory” statements, which “only add to the anger and divisiveness of an already dangerous situation,” as reported by news outlet WFRV.
“A continued pattern of statements and press releases based on opinion and unsubstantiated claims puts people’s lives at risk. These are not peaceful protests. There have already been two deaths and many injuries,” continued the statement.
In the hours after video of the Blake shooting circulated on social media, Evers posted a statement to Twitter saying that “what we know for certain is that he is not the first black man or person to have been shot or injured of mercilessly killed at the hands of individuals in law enforcement in our state or our country.”
While we do not have all of the details yet, what we know for certain is that he is not the first Black man or person to have been shot or injured or mercilessly killed at the hands of individuals in law enforcement in our state or our country.
— Governor Tony Evers (@GovEvers) August 24, 2020
During a press conference several days later, Barnes remarked that “as the governor said, DCI’s investigation is ongoing, but we don’t need an investigation to know that Blake’s shooting falls in a long and painful pattern of violence. And this is a pattern of violence that happens against Black lives too often across this country.”
Wisconsin Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes: "We don't need an investigation to know that (Jacob) Blake's shooting falls in a long and painful pattern of violence. And this is a pattern of violence that happens against Black lives too often across this country" pic.twitter.com/KhX192PT4J
— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) August 27, 2020
In the letter to the Democratic duo, the law enforcement leaders emphasized, “Continued remarks like those already made by each of you have also put the lives of Law Enforcement Officers, National Guardsman and the public at risk.”
As The Daily Wire previously reported, Democratic Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Haul told reporters on Wednesday that Blake was shot by a police officer seven times after they tried to arrest him, and after they were unsuccessful in tasing him.
Before the seven shots were fired, Blake moved around to the driver’s side of the car, and then leaned in while another officer was holding onto his shirt. According to Haul, Officer Rusten Sheskey, a 7-year veteran of the police force, then shot Blake in the back seven times.
Investigators later recovered a knife from the car’s driver’s side, which Haul said Blake acknowledged having at some point during an exchange with police, although it’s not clear exactly when in the sequence of events this occurred.