Washington, D.C. — Ed Chung, vice president for Criminal Justice Reform at the Center for American Progress, released the following statement today after a video surfaced of police in Kenosha, Wisconsin, shooting a Black man, Jacob Blake, as he attempted to enter his car. Blake’s three children were in the car at the time their father was shot. He is now in the hospital in critical condition.
All Americans should be horrified by what transpired in broad daylight in a Kenosha neighborhood this weekend. Jacob Blake is in the hospital fighting for his life after police officers shot him multiple times in the back. This tragedy must be fully and transparently investigated, and accountability must be delivered for this terrible miscarriage of justice. But that is nowhere near enough.
What happened to Jacob Blake is not an isolated incident and cannot be minimized by blaming a “bad apple.” It is another example of how pervasive systemic racism permeates policing and American culture that devalues Black lives. We cannot incentivize our way to ending police violence. We must demand the transformation of American policing by holding law enforcement accountable and shrinking the size, scope, and responsibilities of the entire criminal justice system.