Wisconsin Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes has come out against due process, saying during a press conference Thursday that “we don’t need an investigation” to know that the police shooting of Jacob Blake was a racially motivated hate crime.
"We don't need an investigation to know that (Jacob) Blake's shooting falls in a long and painful pattern of violence. And this is a pattern of violence that happens against Black lives too often across this country,” Barnes, a black man himself, said during the presser.
Wisconsin Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes: "We don't need an investigation to know that (Jacob) Blake's shooting falls in a long and painful pattern of violence. And this is a pattern of violence that happens against Black lives too often across this country" pic.twitter.com/KhX192PT4J— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) August 27, 2020
At the same event, Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers added the shooting and the riots that followed were more evidence of “systemic racism in this country.”
“The previous protests across the state of Wisconsin are absolutely evidence that we’ve got 400 years of systemic racism in this country,” Evers said. “If we don’t do something about it, we’ll be repeating Kenosha in cities all across our country and our state.”
Several law enforcement groups had previously sent a letter to both Barnens and Evers, asking them to stop making definitive statements about the shooting until an investigation had revealed all the facts surrounding the incident.
Evers responded to that request Thursday, saying, “I don’t think making a fact-based statement is improper.”
Blake, a 29-year-old violent felon with an outstanding warrant who was known to police, was shot seven times in the back after resisting arrest and trying to get into an SUV despite police commands to stop. Police, who weren’t wearing body cameras at the time, have alleged that he had a knife in the vehicle.