LOS ANGELES – Congresswoman Maxine Waters (CA-43), Chair of the House Financial Services Committee (FSC), released the following statement upon the shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, WI
“I am furious. I am appalled, outraged, sick, and tired of rogue cops shooting Black and Latinx people like they are animals – like their lives mean nothing. I was absolutely disgusted to see online clips of a Wisconsin police officer grabbing on to Jacob Blake’s shirt, as if he was holding a leash, while he fired several bullets into this unarmed man’s flesh – his back – as his kids and family watched in horror. The cop shot Jacob with the same reckless disregard as the officer in Minneapolis whose knee choked the life out of George Floyd. The rage and unrest we are seeing around the country is because many people of color don’t feel protected by the police, they feel hunted by the police. While Jacob Blake appears to have survived — paralyzed, but alive – he joins a disturbingly long list of high profile police shootings of unarmed women and men of color whose deaths have fueled a movement demanding change, reform, and the universal recognition that Black Lives Matter.
“The fight for justice must continue and will continue until local leaders and Congress vindicate the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Andres Guardado, Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Sandra Bland, Tamir Rice, Trayvon Martin, and countless others whose lives were stolen and whose families are forced to relive the same trauma and pain every time another black man or woman is murdered by a police officer. Such vindication can only occur when elected officials take meaningful steps to reform and clean out police departments. These are also the types of reforms that are outlined in the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act of 2020 that we passed out of the House of Representatives.
“Unfortunately, the Republican Senate is refusing to take up this bill because they have sworn loyalty and absolute allegiance to a racist and corrupt president who is just as bad, if not worse, than the rogue cops killing African Americans in the streets because he implicitly encourages such conduct when he applauds brutal tactics against African Americans. This is the same president who tear gassed peaceful protestors in Washington DC so he could take a picture. This is the same president whose election was celebrated by white supremacists and the KKK. This is the same president who said there “were very fine people on both sides” in Charlottesville after a white supremacist murdered a young woman protesting against racism. This is the same president who calls African nations “shitholes” and has often characterized African American communities as “hell.” And this is the same president who essentially called for the execution of the Central Park 5, now the Exonerated 5, after they were falsely accused in 1989. It’s no wonder that despite the international protests against police killings, police in the United States continue to believe they have license to murder black people with impunity. For as a long as there is a racist president in office, police officers will feel comfort in knowing they will always escape accountability and meaningful reforms.
“I will keep fighting in Congress and work with my colleagues, day and night, to reach a consensus and a path forward on credible police reform. We must keep fighting and we must keep alive the memory of all those people who have been murdered by police officers. There will never be peace in our streets as long as people feel terrorized by the very authorities that are supposed to keep them and their communities safe. Against all odds, and in the face of obstruction from the White House and Senate, we will press on until we prevail.”