Around the country and the world, people are reading about yet another Black man in America shot by the police. This time, that Black man is a son of Evanston, friend and loved one of many in our community, who are in a state of shock.
Yesterday evening, Jacob Blake, who was not armed, was shot in the back seven times by a police officer in Kenosha, Wisconsin as he got into his SUV. According to news reports, his three young sons were in the car at the time of the shooting.
Video footage of the shooting, which will not be shared here, is circulating widely in the media and on social media.
It shows horrifying police violence.
According to media reports, two Wisconsin police officers are on leave as state authorities investigate. According to his family, this morning Blake is out of surgery and in the ICU.
Our thoughts for a complete recovery are with Jake Blake, his family and friends, with his young sons who will have to bear this trauma for the rest of their lives, and with all the members of our community who know and love Jake Blake and his family.
How many more police shootings must the Black community endure?
It's (more than) enough!
Here's a recent update about the shooting.
This devastating incident took place in a city near Evanston, to a Black man with many connections to Evanston as activists are pushing the City toward defunding its police department and reallocating funds to community groups and organizations, and just a week after Dear Evanston hosted a well-attended book group about The End of Policing, featuring its author, Alex Vitale.
Please get involved the discussions around policing. The system of policing in this country must change.
Or the shooting of Black men by police officers will continue.
-- Attend City Council meetings.
-- Talk to your Alderman (to date, five of the nine alderman are on record as supporting defunding--Alds. Peter Braithwaite, 2, Donald Wilson, 4, Robin Rue Simmons 5th Ward Alderman, Eleanor Revelle, 7, and Cicely L. Fleming, 9th Ward Alderwoman).
-- Watch Mayor Hagerty's weekly Policing Q&As on Mondays at noon on City of Evanston Illinois Government Facebook page. The next one is Monday, August 31, where the topic will focus on Black youth and the EPD.
-- Join the Facebook group Evanston Fight for Black Lives.
-- Attend Human Services Committee meetings, chaired by Ald. Revelle.
The Committee is working hard to explore what EPD and how instead community groups and organizations could address issues such as mental health, homelessness, and drug abuse. The next meeting is Monday, August 31 at 5 p.m.
Here's the link to the GoFundMe that has been set up for Jake Blake.