Rev. Jesse Jackson Calls for Kenosha County Sheriff, Kenosha Police Chief to Resign

Several days of unrest and protests erupted following the Sunday night shooting of Jacob Blake by a Kensoha police officer

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Rev. Jesse Jackson has demanded that the Kenosha County sheriff and the chief of the Kenosha Police Department resign, citing their handling of the fatal shootings of two protesters at a demonstration stemming from the police shooting of Jacob Blake.

In a news release issued Friday, Rev. Jackson criticized Kenosha Police Chief Daniel Miskinis for saying the shooting might not have taken place if the protesters weren't out past curfew.

“Had persons not been out involved in violation of that, perhaps the situation that unfolded would not have happened," Miskinis said at a news conference earlier in the week.

On Friday, while speaking to reporters, Miskinis stated that his comments about curfew were "misconstrued."

"In no way was my comment earlier intended to suggest that by being out after curfew, that those persons played a role in their deaths," he said. "Tragically, lives were lost and a person was injured. That rests solely on the person who did that."

The suspect in the shootings, Kyle Rittenhouse, 17, of Antioch, surrendered to police a day after the incident.

Jackson says police allowed Rittenhouse to leave the scene of the shooting the night it occurred, even though witnesses, who had video evidence, told officers the teen had just shot two people.

When asked about the officers' actions Friday, Miskinis said it's important to "understand what was happening in the greater scheme of things," and in this case, officers were responding to a shots fired call, not a shooting or person down complaint.

"They see somebody walking toward them with his hands up. That too, isn't out of the ordinary given how the events have been going on..." the police chief said. "There was nothing to suggest that this person was involved in any criminal behavior."

Kenosha County Sheriff David Beth (C) speaks at a news conference on August 27, 2020 in Kenosha, Wisconsin, flanked by (from L) Mayor John Antaramian, County Executive Jim Kreuser, Police Chief Daniel Miskinis and Major General Paul Knapp, after days of protest over the police shooting of Jacob Blake, Jr., on August 23. Photo by KEREM YUCEL/AFP via Getty Images)

In a statement, Bishop Tavis Grant, of Rev. Jackson's Rainbow PUSH Coalition, took aim at Kenosha County Sheriff David Beth, saying he “has less than the value of redemption, of life for these people. He wants to warehouse people…take people out of society. These are the very elements of institutionalized racism."

The ACLU issued a statement on Thursday, also demanding the resignations of Miskinis and Beth, saying their actions "uphold and defend white supremacy, while demonizing people who were murdered for exercising their First Amendment rights."

When asked Friday if he believes Beth and Miskinis should resign, Kenosha Mayor John Antaramian said no.

Several days of unrest and protests erupted following the Sunday night shooting of Blake by a Kensoha police officer, an incident that sparked national outrage.

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