State law enforcement groups blast Evers for irresponsible comments

Posted at 10 a.m. on Friday, January 8, 2021

The Brillion News


Four professional law enforcement associations in Wisconsin have called out Governor Tony Evers for his remarks in connection with the Kenosha County district attorney's decision not to prosecute a Kenosha police officers for shooting a violent black male suspect in a domestic abuse incident.


"This letter is in response to Governor Evers’ remarks following the results of the Kenosha investigation where officers were not charged in the Jacob Blake shooting," said an email sent to the news media by the Brown County Sheriff's Department late Thursday afternoon, January 7.


The letter itself was issued by the Badger State Sheriffs' Association, the Wisconsin Sheriffs and Deputy Sheriffs Association, the Wisconsin Chiefs of Police Association and the Wisconsin Police Executive Group.


On Tuesday, January 5, Kenosha County D.A. Michael Graveley said that an investigation into the shooting of Jacob Blake by Kenosha Police Officer Rusten Sheskey would result in no charges.


Evers then issued a statement critical of the district attorney's decision, saying it was not just. In it, Evers said: "Today’s decision is further evidence that our work is not done — we must work each day in earnest toward a more just, more fair, and more equitable state and country, and to combat the racism experienced by Black Wisconsinites."


That did not make law enforcement officials happy.


"[Public] officials should be cautious of making official comments contrary to the investigation's official results. It only fuels the fires of distrust amongst law enforcement and the citizens they serve," the open letter said.


The Blake incident was investigated by the state Department of Justice and by an independent investigator, retired Madison Chief of Police Noble Wray, who is black.


The investigations concluded that the officer's shooting of Blake was not improper.


"It's unfortunate that a person's behavior leads to a law enforcement officer having to use deadly force to protect their lives of the lives of others," the law enforcement associations' statement said.


Wrightstown Chief of Police Greg Deike, in a community open forum on law enforcement on January 7, said the governor spoke without knowing the facts.


Deike said all of the reforms Evers has advocated in police use of force policies and training are already required in Wisconsin by law.