KENOSHA, Wis. - The American Civil Liberties Union of Wisconsin and National ACLU Thursday, Aug. 27 called for "the immediate resignation" of Kenosha Police Chief Daniel Miskinis and Kenosha County Sheriff David Beth. This, following the shooting of Jacob Blake and the murder of two protestors, who were shot by a 17-year-old participating in a counter-protest.
According to a news release from the ACLU, Sheriff Beth’s deputies "not only fraternized with white supremacist counter-protesters on Tuesday but allowed the shooter to leave as people yelled that he was the shooter."
The ACLU alleges "the sheriff excused this by saying his deputies may not have paid attention to the gunman because there were many distractions, including “screaming” and “hollering,” people running, police vehicles idling, “nonstop radio traffic,” and that “in situations that are high stress, you have such an incredible tunnel vision.” Sheriff Beth was also criticized last year after calling for five people of color who had been arrested for shoplifting to be put into warehouses “where we put these people who have been deemed to be no longer an asset.”
During the Kenosha Police Department’s first press conference in response to the Blake shooting and subsequent murders committed at protests on Wednesday, Chief Miskinis blamed the unidentified victims in Tuesday night’s shooting for their own deaths, saying the violence was the result of the “persons” involved violating curfew, the ACLU said in the release.
Kenosha shooting suspect
“The ACLU strongly condemns Sheriff Beth and Police Chief Miskinis’ response to both the attempted murder of Jacob Blake and the protests demanding justice for him. Their actions uphold and defend white supremacy, while demonizing people who were murdered for exercising their first amendment rights and speaking out against police violence.” said Chris Ott, Executive Director of the ACLU of Wisconsin, in the release. “The only way to rectify these actions is for both Sheriff Beth and Police Chief Daniel Miskinis to immediately tender their resignations.”
The ACLU said if Beth and Miskinis "refuse to immediately tender their resignation," they're calling on the mayor to demand the chief's removal with the Kenosha Police and Fire Commission, and the sheriff's removal with Governor Tony Evers.
Kenosha Police Officer Rusten Sheskey, Jacob Blake
The ACLU asked that people call Gov. Evers and demand Beth's resignation, and contact the PFC to fill out a citizen complaint regarding Miskinis.