By Benjamin Yount
Center Square News Service
Wisconsin’s governor is not changing his mind about Jacob Blake’s shooting in Kenosha, but is calling out the people who looted and burned after Blake’s shooting last month.
Evers told reporters on Wednesday, September 9, that he stands by his comments that Blake is just the latest Black victim of the police.
“What happened to Jacob Blake was a real unfortunate and sad occasion to see another Black man dealing with being shot by police,” Evers said. “White police in particular.”
The governor added that Blake’s shooting gave people an “opportunity to step-up and talk about racial inequities.”
A Kenosha police officer shot Blake in the back several times on Aug. 23.
A report from Wisconsin’s Department of Justice said Blake was violating a restraining order by traveling to his girlfriend’s home. After police arrived, investigators say Blake fought with three officers, including putting one in a headlock. Blake is seen on video shrugging off two tasers, ignoring officers, and walking with a knife in his hand toward his girlfriend’s stolen SUV. The officer fired when Blake moved to get into the SUV.
Blake’s shooting touched off four nights of protests and violence in Kenosha that left dozens of buildings burned to the ground and caused millions of dollars in damage. Two people died and a third was wounded in a shooting on the final night of violence.
“[Blake’s shooting] brought some bad actors to Kenosha, and bad acting to Kenosha that no one should tolerate,” Evers said.
The governor then shifted to talking about rebuilding Kenosha, including a million dollars in state money for micro loans and other help from WEDC.
Evers later said he’d consider similar help for State Street in Madison.
“We need to be in a position so that these people don’t have to redo these things every two weeks,” the governor said. “I think the business people in Madison, on State Street, have endured enough.”
Many State Street businesses are still boarded up or closed after nights of violence in Madison from May or June.
City leaders in Madison have been reluctant to help those businesses because they say State Street is one of the "whitest neighborhoods" in Madison.