Advancement Project National Office Responds to DA Announcement in Jacob Blake Shooting - Advancement Project - Advancement Project

Advancement Project National Office Responds to DA Announcement in Jacob Blake Shooting

CONTACT
Gina Physic
[email protected]
202-505-4659

WASHINGTON, DC — The Kenosha County District Attorney, Michael Graveley, today announced that Rusten Sheskey, the police officer who shot Jacob Blake seven times in August will not be criminally charged.

On August 23, 2020, Jacob Blake, a 29-year-old Black man, was shot and seriously injured by police officer Sheskey in Kenosha, Wis. Sheskey shot at Blake’s back seven times as Blake opened the driver’s door to his car. Three of Blake’s sons were in the backseat of the car at the time, witnessing this attack on their father. 

This incident followed months of nationwide protest and uprisings in response to the police killings of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd, and local and national demands to defund the police. 

In a Tuesday press conference, DA Graveley said that Sheskey, the police officer responsible for paralyzing Blake and traumatizing Blake’s three sons, could successfully argue self-defense before a jury. This decision is an insult to all those advocating for justice and working to hold police officers accountable for abusing their power, and an insult to this country’s promise of a caring, inclusive and just democracy. 

In response to this decision, Advancement Project National Office will continue to demand that police departments be permanently defunded, nationwide.

“Again, the criminal legal system has protected police and not Black lives. Again, we are seeing no justice. We must continue to demand a radical transformation of this so-called public safety system so that we can all be free and safe,” said Judith Browne Dianis, executive director of Advancement Project National Office. “Let’s organize, protest, vote and repeat. Our power is the change agent.”

“Prosecuting cops will never bring justice, but prosecutors claiming they don’t have enough evidence to bring a charge is plainly a lie. It was a lie when former prosecutor Bob McCulloch and prosecutor Wesley Bell said it about police officer Darren Wilson and Mike Brown, and it’s a lie today,” explained Thomas B. Harvey, Justice Project director at Advancement Project National Office. “This is no surprise, however. Nothing new can be said about our legal system’s racism or its obvious goal to maintain a white supremacists status quo. That’s why it exists. We can only ever expect it to do whatever it can to protect state sanctioned racist violence. The only answer is to abolish the police.”

The American criminal legal system continues to expose its own biases and racist structure. So long as that truth is self evident and Black people are forced to exclaim that our lives matter, Advancement Project National Office is committed to taking action on the following demands: 

  • Defund the police 
  • Require #PoliceFreeSchools 
  • End qualified immunity 
  • Ensure elected officials refuse and return police union donations 
  • End 287 (g) programs 
  • Provide reparations for state violence against communities of color

Today’s decision did not go far enough, it instead showed us just how much work there is to be done. Building on the steps that we’ve already taken, Advancement Project National Office acknowledges that there is no such thing as police accountability when this country’s legal system is set up to protect and legitimize even the most violent, predatory, and racist acts of the police. Our organization vows to continue working with organizers and activists to defund police departments nationwide, in order to place us all on a path toward building a world that is free and safe for people of color. 

Advancement Project National Office is a next-generation, multi-racial civil rights organization. Rooted in the great human rights struggles for equality and justice, we exist to fulfill America’s promise of a caring, inclusive and just democracy. We use innovative tools and strategies to strengthen social movements and achieve high impact policy change. Visit www.advancementproject.org

###

KEEP READING

Advancement Project Statement on Murder of Adam Toledo

Today, we join Chicago in grief and outrage at the murder of Adam Toledo, a 13-year-old Latino boy whose life was cruelly taken by Chicago Police. We express our deepest sympathy to Adam’s friends and family; we stand in solidarity with organizers, activists, and the broader Chicago community as they take to the street to express their despair and demand justice.

Read More
Mapping Injustice: Navigating the Criminal Legal System 101

Grassroots organizers are leading the fight to dismantle the incarceration state. In its current form, the criminal legal system criminalizes and incarcerates people of color in the name of “law and order.” In 2021, Advancement Project National Office, along with Michigan Liberation, Close the Workhouse, Neighborhood Defender Service Detroit, Detroit Justice Center, and East Baton Rouge Parish Prison Reform Coalition (EBRPPRC), partnered to present a forum series on the various phases of a criminal case: Policing, Arrest, and Pretrial Trial, Sentencing, and Plea Negotiations Incarceration and Re-Entry During each session, organizers and lawyers mapped the…

Read More
Advancement Project Statement on Daunte Wright’s Murder, Police Claims of Accidental Discharge

CONTACT Alex Jordan [email protected] 404-558-3581 WASHINGTON – Today, in response to the police murder of Daunte Wright in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, Advancement Project National Office’s Thomas B. Harvey, Program Director of the Justice Project, issued the following statement: “We are heartbroken and outraged at the murder of Daunte Wright. We stand in solidarity with Daunte’s family and the Black and Brown Minnesotans who are sharing their grief, outrage, and disgust after police have taken the life of another Black man in their state. “Daunte Wright was murdered by a police officer only miles from where George Floyd…

Read More
Civil Rights, Racial Justice Organizations Applaud Biden’s Executive Order Aimed at Facilitating Voter Registration, Urges Robust Implementation and Tracking

Media Contact: Elana Needle Email: [email protected] The Racial Equity Anchor Collaborative—the foremost diverse coalition of national racial justice and civil rights organizations representing and serving more than 53 million people in the United States—applauds President Joseph R. Biden’s recent executive action to make it easier for Americans to register to vote. Signed on the 56th anniversary of Bloody Sunday, the new Biden executive order requiring federal agencies to submit plans to help facilitate voter registration invokes the legacy of the 600 activists, including the late Congressman John Lewis, who were attacked by law enforcement as they attempted to…

Read More
Advancement Project National Office Applauds Introduction, Urges Passage of S. 1 to Protect Voting Rights of Communities of Color

MEDIA CONTACT Jeralyn Cave [email protected] 202-921-7321 WASHINGTON, DC – Today, the U.S. Senate introduced S. 1 – the For the People Act of 2021—a pro-democracy piece of legislation that aims to protect and strengthen access to voting, blunts the influence of dark money in politics and establishes anti-corruption measures for government. Advancement Project National Office, a 21st century civil rights and racial justice organization released the following statement. “Right now, at least 43 states have advanced legislation making it harder to vote on the heels of a historic election that saw record voter turnout,”…

Read More
Advancement Project National Office Condemns Atlanta Shooting and Racism, Violence Toward AAPI Community

MEDIA CONTACT Alex Jordan [email protected] WASHINGTON – This morning, in response to the shooting of eight people in Atlanta last night—six of whom were Asian American women—Advancement Project National Office’s Executive Director Judith Browne Dianis issued the following statement: “We extend our deepest sympathy to the family and friends of the individuals who were killed last night—and we express our solidarity with the Asian American and Pacific Islanders who have expressed righteous outrage and fear about this incident and the alarming spike in violence against Asian Americans over the last year. “This country has a long, sordid…

Read More
We Will Continue to Fight for You, Breonna

By Advancement Project National Office Photo by Maria Oswalt via Unsplash Breonna Taylor’s name and face have been shared around the world. Her murder by Louisville Metro Police in 2020 sparked a rallying cry for racial justice online, in protests, in courtrooms and in our homes. Her story is both unlike any other and a reminder of the countless community members we’ve lost from police and political violence. Today is the anniversary of when she was taken, and her presence continues to live through her family, her legacy, and the millions of lives she’s touched. In June 2020, Advancement Project…

Read More
Esri, and the Racial Equity Anchor Institutions Partner to Launch Survey on Policing Budgets Across Country

Washington, DC – On February 25, 2021 at 10:00 am ET, the Racial Equity Anchor Institutions and Esri will host a virtual press briefing on the launch of a new initiative to survey and track policing budgets in targeted areas around the nation. The new initiative is an effort to aid communities on their journey to better engage with and potentially reimagine what public safety looks like, neighborhood by neighborhood. Interested media can register to attend by visiting https://naacpheadquarters.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_eMlWidmDQgeG1qKqHWkdDg. 2020 and 2021 presented highs and lows across the country. It has been exhausting for our nation, communities, and…

Read More
20 Ways Black People Made History in 2020

By Brittney Johnson, Communications Intern As we celebrate another Black History Month, we reflect on the milestones and accomplishments of Black Americans. From the ringing bells of Emancipation to the Civil Rights Movement, to the election of the first Black president, we continue to make history and move mountains despite the odds against us. For starters, 2020 was a tough year. Not only because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but also because of the multiple lives we lost to police brutality, social injustice and racial inequality. BUT, 2020 also brought many historic moments for the Black community as we pushed for…

Read More
Police Brutality in Rochester Proves that Police ‘Reform’ is a Myth

By Thomas B. Harvey, Justice Project Program Director Nothing short of police abolition will end the continued abuses of a system of policing designed to systematically oppress Black people and maintain a white supremacist status quo. Credit: Life Matters Last month, police in Rochester, New York pepper sprayed, manhandled, handcuffed and arrested a nine-year-old Black girl in obvious mental health crisis. This horrifying violence triggered a familiar and morbid routine: news coverage of this police brutality was met with strongly worded condemnations from political leaders, whose calls to reform policing were centered in the conversation; meanwhile…

Read More