WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Southern Poverty Law Center President and CEO Margaret Huang issued the statement below after a 17-year-old male individual was arrested for the alleged shooting that killed two and injured another in Kenosha, Wis., last night during a protest against the shooting of Jacob Blake.
“It’s heartbreaking to see the events of the last few days in Kenosha. While law enforcement stood idly by, an emboldened vigilante took two lives and injured one. It is inexplicable that the police failed to protect demonstrators, and it raises serious questions about the role of law enforcement in this tragedy. We call for a full and comprehensive investigation into the role and responsibility of law enforcement in these crimes, and the police must be held accountable for their failure to protect demonstrators in their communities.
“Across the country, we continue to witness protests against systemic racism, extrajudicial killings of unarmed Black people and the use of excessive force by law enforcement against Black and brown individuals. Now is the time for elected leaders to take immediate action to reimagine the policing system in our country. We must become a more just and equitable country for all.”