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Community calls on Kenosha County Board to better address racism, police reform after Jacob Blake shooting

Posted at 8:06 AM, Sep 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-16 09:06:18-04

KENOSHA — People spoke to the Kenosha County Board of Supervisors for about two hours during the public comment portion of the meeting Tuesday night, demanding the board better address racism and police reform in the wake of the Jacob Blake shooting.

Just over three weeks have passed since Blake's shooting and the unrest that followed. Several dozen people lined up to speak at the county board meeting demanding change to a resolution County Supervisor Terry Rose put together.

In the resolution, the board acknowledges systemic racism is a crisis that affects Kenosha, and wants a better reflection of the Kenosha community, including underrepresented groups, in local government.

But people pointed out the resolution makes no mention of Jacob Blake.

Justin Blake, Jacob's uncle, also spoke to the board. He stressed there needs to be more leaders who make laws to protect minority groups.

"Stand up tonight, and let the world know where the county board stands, where my nephew was shot seven times in the back and paralyzed, stand up," Blake said.

The resolution also states the board wants to help people rebuild the parts of downtown and Uptown that were damaged or destroyed with the help of state and federal funding.

In the resolution, the board says while it is still being assessed, estimates show damage could cost at least $50 million.

Some people said they felt abandoned by first responders and law enforcement when their property was destroyed.

"We all got hung out to dry for three solid nights," one Kenosha resident said. "Why were no fire trucks dispatched to my uptown neighborhood until Tuesday morning?"

The meeting agenda indicates the board was set to discuss the resolution as well as a lawsuit filed by protesters. At the time of this article, the board was just getting to those agenda items.

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