MADISON – Today, Governor Tony Evers (D) called for a special session for the State Legislature to take up legislation aimed at reforming police practices and improving police accountability. This legislative package, including nine bills, was first introduced in June by Governor Evers and Lieutenant Governor Mandela Barnes (D).
Governor Evers pressed the Republican-controlled Legislature to act on this legislative package in response to the shooting of Jacob Blake, a Black man shot seven times by a police officer in Kenosha on August 23rd.
In response to Governor Evers’ call for a special session, Senator Jeff Smith (D – Brunswick) released the following statement:
“Looking out for our fellow Wisconsinites can’t be a partisan issue. Republicans have repeatedly ignored the crises affecting Wisconsin. We’ve been left with zero leadership from Republicans on a number of critical issues, including the long overdue demand for social justice. I commend Governor Evers for calling the Legislature to meet in special session to vote on these critical measures to discourage excessive police force and improve police accountability.
“In the last twenty-four hours, the racial inequities that exist in Wisconsin have been shamefully exposed, yet again. Wisconsin is consistently ranked one of the worst states to raise a Black child because of immense social, health and educational disparities. We’ve waited too long to address these inequities already – we are beyond a task force, it’s time we get to work.
“As I’ve said many times before, we are all one Wisconsin – this means we look out for all of our neighbors and work together as we fight to achieve racial equity and justice in our state.”