LaBoyteaux 2020–Kenosha

Domestic disputes are one of the most difficult and dangerous situations which police are called to address.  Tempers are already out of control, people may feel more righteous in their own homes and weapons are often present.  Details of the dispute that led to the police shooting of Jacob Blake are not clear.  Police believed he needed to be arrested and removed, they used a taser, he should not have resisted arrest.  But for the life of me I cannot see any justification for shooting him.  I’ve watched the video several times and tried to put myself in the position of those police officers.  I hope and pray that I would have had the presence of mind to back off.  To me, the need to de-escalate has been so evident in many police shootings.  If Jacob Blake had gotten a weapon out of his car, that would be different.  As it is, shooting seven times in the back is completely unreasonable, possibly attempted murder.

I want to commend Sheriff Glen of Kenosha County for his refusal to deputize vigilantes.  Even if I try to understand the sense of frustration by black Americans, and powerlessness to prevent unnecessary police shootings,  arson and looting cannot be tolerated as part of protest demonstrations.  The best solution is to utilize the national guard early and in force to protect property.  This frees the local police to sort out and arrest those causing violence.  One of the biggest problems with protest demonstrations is individuals coming from outside the immediate community with their own political motivations, to use the demonstration and violence to make some kind of statement.  There should be some legal way for local law enforcement to remove outside agitators or persons carrying guns in these situations.

Also want to commend the boycott actions of professional athletes as a powerful way to condemn unnecessary police shootings of unarmed black men.  Police need new training in how to de-escalate these situations.


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