(Sun Prairie) – On August 23rd, 2020, a Kenosha police officer shot Jacob Black seven times in the back. Blake, a black man, was unarmed, not acting aggressively towards police, and indeed was attempting to de-escalate a situation. Rep. Gary Hebl (D-Sun Prairie) released the following statement in response.
This does not have to keep happening. We can and should try to pass police and criminal justice reform to help avoid situations such as what happened to Jacob Blake. That requires acknowledging there is a problem, something many are refusing to do, satisfied with the status quo. The status quo is not acceptable, has not been for a very long time, and it feels like we are at a tipping point. Something can be done. Something must be done.
The Legislative Black Caucus called for a special session more than two months ago to address situations like this. Nothing has happened. Once again, Republicans treat the actual work of legislating as a mere inconvenience. Instead, they’d rather be out campaigning.
Governor Evers has called a special session to address the issues. Instead, Speaker Vos wants a task force, which is his way of giving up. We don’t need another task force to examine the issue. It’s been in front of our eyes for decades. We know what needs to be done. There are several pieces of smart legislation already waiting for us to debate and pass. Vos’ task force will come up with nothing meaningful, and he will be able to say he tried. He wants the appearance of doing something without actually getting his hands dirty. If the job is too hard for Robin Vos or if he cannot be bothered to legislate, he must step down as Speaker and let someone who is willing to do the job take his place. Then he can focus on campaigning all he wants.