KENOSHA – The ACLU of Wisconsin today responded to President Donald Trump’s remarks when he visited Kenosha on Tuesday, following the shooting of 29-year-old Jacob Blake and ongoing protests against police violence.

ACLU of Wisconsin spokeswoman Alyssa Mauk said:

“In his speech on Tuesday in Kenosha, President Trump dismissed the existence of systemic police violence and structural racism. In doing so, he ignored the pleas of thousands of Americans who have taken to the streets in recent months to fight for Black lives, and continued to ignore the reality that generations of Black and Brown people have been harmed by police.

“President Trump claimed that easing unrest in Kenosha depends on increasing the number of officers and funding for police, even while surrounded by evidence to the contrary. The militarized presence of local, state and federal law enforcement has only escalated tensions in Kenosha. Kenosha Police Chief Daniel Miskinis has tried to blame protestors for using war-like tactics, while saying that police are acting with restraint—but the firing of tear gas and rubber bullets by police against protesters, and the presence of federal forces in military fatigues patrolling the streets, shows a very different reality. Tear gas is even banned in war, and it is not protestors who are using it.”

“It is clear that President Trump, Chief Miskinis and Sheriff David Beth either do not understand or do not care about the reasons that so many people—in Kenosha and across the country—are calling for change. American policing has cost too many people of color their lives, and the police chief and sheriff need to resign for the way they have handled this situation. Truly uniting the city will require listening to the entire community’s concerns and making changes to policing that protect the lives of people of color during interactions with law enforcement.”

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