Good! No Charges For The Officers Involved In The Kenosha, Wis. Shooting Of Jacob Blake


Now come the mostly peaceful riots.

I wish I were kidding. The Wisconsin National Guard was activated on Monday ahead of the charging decision announced today. 500 soldiers were sent to Kenosha, businesses have been boarded up and fencing has been erected around a local courthouse. When Blake was shot seven times and left paralyzed after the August 23 incident in which he disobeying officers’ lawful commands, struggled with police while resisting arrest, and attempted to enter the driver’s side door of his car, all after violating a court order and returning to harass a women he had been accused of raping, Kenosha was subjected to extensive Black Lives Matter-led riots. There was citywide unrest, looting and violence toward law enforcement; approximately a hundred cars burned, businesses were ransacked and there were violent attacks on police, with one uniformed officer knocked unconscious after he was struck by a brick.

Though Blake had an extensive criminal record and was threatening a woman at the time of his arrest, the shooting prompted the NBA, WNBA and Major League Baseball players to boycott their own games. These players knew nothing about Blake other than the fact that he was black and was shot by police officers.

It may not have been the least justified of the summer’s BLM, presumed racism outbursts—I’d rate that competition a three-way tie between Blake’s shooting, the Wendy’s shooting in Atlanta and the Breonna Taylor fiasco—-but it was as contrived a reason for racial outrage as one could devise. If charges were brought against the officers involved in Blake’s arrest, then no police officer could confidently do his or her job when confronted by a violent black suspect without that officer fearing a career-ending consequence prompted by official fears of mob violence.

Never mind: the current norm encouraged by Black Lives Matter is that racism and police brutality are presumed if a black man is shot or killed after he resists arrest, and the other facts of the case literally do not matter. “We want justice and healing for Jacob Blake, the Blake family, and our Kenosha community,” Tanya McLean, leader of the criminal justice initiative Leaders of Kenosha said yesterday, lighting the metaphorical fuse. “Officer Sheskey fired seven shots into an unarmed man’s back, on a block where our children walk to school and our families go to church.”

Thus encouraging violent rioting…where children walk to school and families go to church.

29 thoughts on “Good! No Charges For The Officers Involved In The Kenosha, Wis. Shooting Of Jacob Blake

    • I thought the big point was that he was armed and trying to flee with the children. That seemed to be the point of the attack, to get the kids. What police officer would let a violent suspect with a restraining order kidnap his kids while armed?

  1. Well it’s of course systematic racism that led to this brutal attack on this “unarmed” black man. Most likely we will see another round of peaceful protesters setting fire to numerous cars in Kenosha.

  2. No. In my view “Good’ is not an appropriate response for an ethicist. You can do better. The issue is not whether Blake deserved to be shot, or whether he was a ‘good’ or ‘bad’ man. The police are there to protect the public and uphold the law; their role is not to punish. As you properly observed in a previous post : “Eventually we will be informed of whether police reasonably thought Blake was reaching for a weapon, justifying the police shooting.” So now we have the answer. It was, apparently, reasonable for the police to think Blake was reaching for a weapon, and it was appropriate to shoot him seven times in the back. So be it.

    The key issue to my mind is that the Authorities have a duty to carry out such judgments in a way that is not only fair and reasonable, but can be seen to be fair and reasonable. Clearly this is most important when confidence in the police is already weak. Have the police sufficiently explained why their response was appropriate, in a way that satisfies you, having seen the video? And please don’t repeat your argument that Blake should have followed police instructions : yes of course he should have, but that is completely irrelevant.

    • “Good” wasn’t the entire argument, it was a summary in the headline. The decision was “good” because it was not based on appealing to public relations, or fear of violence. It was good because the police weren’t punished because of the color of Blake’s skin: there is little doubt that if he had been white, there would have been no demonstrations and no national story.

      “Authorities have a duty to carry out such judgments in a way that is not only fair and reasonable, but can be seen to be fair and reasonable.” This is an impossible standard when nobody is being interested in being fair and reasonable. Blake was tased multiple times. He got an officer in a headlock. His behavior suggested PCP, or a similar drug. He told the officers that he had a gun. In the middle of the event, officers can’t and shouldn’t calibrate what biased perceptions might be. They have procedures, they are trained to follow them, and if they don’t, they could die.

      What is irrelevant is the number of shots. Why the public and the media have such a hard time grasping this, I don’t know. Once an officer starts firing, the idea is to keep firing until the target is down and not moving. And of course it’s relevant that Blake resisted arrest: if he didn’t, he wouldn’t be paralyzed, and wouldn’t have been shot.

      • Obviously the officer should have shot the knife out of Blake’s hand, like people do in movies all the time. I mean, if untrained movie stars can do that routinely, why don’t we tell our officers to? It’d save on ammunition costs as well.

        • For reals, I just saw Yul Brenner shoot a gun out of a guy’s hand from a stagecoach. With today’s technology, every cop should be trained to do that. Or, as President Biden said, just shoot them in the leg, duh. Thankfully with Biden in charge we will have clear thinking like that driving national policy.

      • Unfortunately, the idea of cooperating or avoiding force went out the window with Michael Brown and the Big Lie of “hands up, don’t shoot!” These days, us non-BIPOC folks are supposed to just look the other way or cross the street rather than involve the authorities in any activity by black folks, whether questionable or outright criminal, because it’s assumed that if the authorities do come, they’ll be racist and shoot whoever. It’s the “snitches get stitches” mentality expanding out of the ghetto.

        What the left really wants is silence from everyone else, like an gaslighting spouse or abusive boss. If a white man stands up for himself against a non-white, he’s being a racist. If he stands up for himself against a woman he’s mansplaining. If a white woman stands up for herself now, she’s a “Karen.” Anyone who asserts himself against the left is being argumentative or defensive or a bully. Anyone who tries to explain his position is whitesplaining, or mansplaining, or whatever. Everyone who disagrees is a racist or a sexist or whatever. Sit down, shut up, pay your taxes, and vote Democratic.

      • Seven shots and they didn’t kill him! The fire arms training and qualifications of the involved officers must have been deficient. Or were they trained with the “spray and pray” method? At least one or two of the shots should have hit the center of mass and killed Blake. Given the expense of good fire arms training maintaining that training I wonder if most police qualification is any thing other than a joke!

    • “The police are there to protect the public and uphold the law; their role is not to punish.”

      Why do so many people falsely conflate self-defense — a right enjoyed by both police and civilian alike — with “punishment”?

    • @Andrew Wakeling: “Have the police sufficiently explained why their response was appropriate”

      Have you read the DA’s report? Or viewed his 2-hr press conference? He made it quite clear: Ofc Sheskey fired in self-defense when he perceived Blake to be attempting to stab him with the knife. He waited until the very. Last. Possible. Minute.

      Sheskey deserves a medal, not second-guessing from the peanut gallery.

  3. Funny
    Not one bit of outrage at the killing of an unarmed woman protester by law enforcement at the Capitol today 1-6-20. Could it be that shooting someone supporting Trump is acceptable?

  4. How are we ever going to hold the lying’ azz lamestream media to account for their insistence on telling racialist lies whose only possible purpose could be to push for a race war?

    ABC “interviewed” Jacob Blake the other day …

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