This morning, Milwaukee County Executive David Crowley released the following statement regarding police shooting Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin on Sunday evening:
"I join the family and friends of Jacob Blake in praying that he will survive the critical injuries suffered last night as he was shot in the back multiple times by Kenosha police. As a father, it breaks my heart to know that Blake's children went to sleep last night not knowing if their father would make it through the night. It cuts even deeper to know that he is not the first person of color to have their lives endangered at the hands of law enforcement in this state or nation.
"Make no mistake, Blake’s wounds are the result of systemic racism, the policies and practices that entangle our institutions and produce racially disparate outcomes, regardless of the intentions of the people who work within them. It’s the reason why Wisconsin is ranked as the worst place to raise a black child, why child poverty in the Black community is markedly higher compared to their white counterparts, and why Milwaukee County ranks as 71st healthiest county out of 72 counties in the state.
"After the murder of George Floyd, Milwaukee County residents took to the streets to demand justice, equity, and accountability for Black lives. Months after Floyd’s death, the people continue to make their voices heard and call for a fundamental change in the way we handle police-community relations, the way we treat communities color, and the way we include each and every person in our society to have their voices heard in our democracy.
"At Milwaukee County, we’ve started this process by committing to achieve racial equity and developing the first strategic plan in nearly twenty years through a racial equity lens. But, as a father of young Black children I understand the fierce urgency in which communities of color are demanding change. It’s time to listen to the voice of the people and take action to prevent the unnecessary loss of Black lives at the hands of law enforcement. The time for change is always now. I stand with my brothers and sisters who are standing up for Black lives and making their voices heard.
"As we continue to pray for the recovery of Jacob Blake, and learn more details of last night’s events in Kenosha, I urge leaders at both the local and state level to work together and follow the lead of Milwaukee County in declaring racism as a public health crisis and commit to undoing generations of racist policies and practices that continue to cut short the lives of too many residents of color."