Aug. 28: Recall Campaign Launched Against Evers; Blake No Longer Handcuffed In Hospital

Aug 28, 2020

Anger over the police shooting of Jacob Blake, a Black man, continues to spill into the streets of Kenosha, Wis. On Tuesday evening, an Illinois teenager allegedly shot and killed two protesters and severely injured another. The city has become the nation's latest flashpoint during a summer of unrest and calls for racial justice.

>>Find all of WUWM's Kenosha protest coverage here.

Find previous days' coverage here:

>> Thursday, Aug. 27
>> Wednesday, Aug. 26
>> Tuesday, Aug. 25
>> Monday, Aug. 24
>> Sunday, Aug. 23

WUWM is providing updates as events unfold and information on the incident is released.

9:09 p.m.: Citizens Launch Recall Campaign Against Gov. Evers

Wisconsin citizens filed paperwork to recall Democratic Gov. Tony Evers and Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes Friday, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Misty Polewczynski, the leader of the effort, said she was motivated by Evers' response to the Kenosha unrest, along with his statewide mask order. 

In a Facebook page rallying support for the recall, Polewszynski said, "Governor Evers has had ample time and opportunities to protect the citizens and their property. He has failed and refused federal help. He has encouraged these riots and the "defunding" of our police. Enough is enough."

To trigger a recall election against Evers, supporters need to gather signatures equal to at least 25% of the vote cast in the last election for governor — or about 670,000 signatures in this case. 

- Emily Files

6:25 p.m.: Kenosha Police Union Gives Its Version Of Blake Shooting

The Kenosha police union on Friday offered the most detailed accounting to date on officers' perspective of the moments leading up to police shooting Jacob Blake seven times in the back, saying he had a knife and fought with officers, putting one of them in a headlock and shrugging off two attempts to stun him.

The statement from Brendan Matthews, attorney for the Kenosha Professional Police Association, goes into more detail than anything that's been released by the Wisconsin Department of Justice, which is investigating.

Read more here

- Associated Press

3:33 p.m.: Blake No Longer Cuffed In Hospital After Posting Bond For July Warrant

Jacob Blake is no longer handcuffed in his hospital bed after his legal team posted bond for a July arrest warrant, according to a press release from the Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Office (MSCO) and reporting from the Kenosha News.

The MCSO said in a statement that Blake was “in custody” at the hospital due to a Kenosha County felony arrest warrant issued in July. The MCSO was assisting Kenosha authorities with the “hospital watch.”

Attorney Patrick Cafferty, who is representing Blake on the July domestic abuse-related case, said it took longer to post bond because the Kenosha County Courthouse has been closed this week during protests and unrest.

- Emily Files

3:11 p.m.: Kenosha County Sheriff Says He Hasn’t Seen Blake Shooting Video, Police Chief Stands By Officers Allowing Kyle Rittenhouse To Walk Away

After a second night of less violent protests in Kenosha, Police Chief Daniel Miskinis said there have been “just under 50 arrested” for charges related to protesting since demonstrations began after the shooting of Jacob Blake on Sunday.

Miskinis spoke at press conference in Kenosha Friday afternoon. He responded to video of 17-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse walking past police after he allegedly killed two people and injured another during protests Tuesday night, saying Rittenhouse was not seen as a threat. Miskinis said it was not a lapse in judgement for law enforcement let Rittenhouse walk away.

“It might have been abnormal two weeks ago, it’s no longer abnormal,” Miskinis said. “There was nothing to suggest that this person was involved in criminal behavior.”

Rittenhouse turned himself in to the Antioch, Ill. police on Wednesday.

Also at the press conference, Kenosha County Sheriff David Beth said there could be delays in releasing people arrested during protests because they do not have IDs or can’t post bail. Some bail proceedings may be moved to Racine to decrease the number of people in Kenosha, which would also slow the release process.

When asked about whether he sees a problem with the force police used on Jacob Blake, Beth said he has not seen any video of the incident.

National Guard Adj. General Major General Paul Knapp says over 1,000 troops are currently in Kenosha. That does not include any out-of-state National Guard troops who are expected to arrive later Friday. Knapp said the National Guard will be in Kenosha as long as they are needed, and that Gov. Tony Evers makes the final call on when they leave.

Kenosha Mayor John Antaramian confirmed that curfew will continue at least through Sunday, beginning at 7 p.m. each day.

- Jack Hurbanis

12:18 p.m.: NBA Playoffs Resume Saturday With New Commitments To Social Justice

The NBA playoffs stopped Wednesday when the Milwaukee Bucks didn't take the court for their playoff game against Orlando, showing their frustration with the police shooting of Jacob Blake in Wisconsin and acts of racial injustice.

Games will resume Saturday after the league and the National Basketball Players Association detailed the commitments that made players comfortable continuing.

In a joint statement released Friday, the league and players said they would immediately establish a social justice coalition, made up of players, coaches and owners, that would focus on issues such as voting access and advocating for meaningful police and criminal justice reform.

- Associated Press

10:30 a.m.: Teen Charged In Kenosha Killings Stalls Return To Wisconsin

A judge agreed Friday to delay for a month a decision on whether a 17-year-old from Illinois should be returned to Wisconsin to face charges accusing him of fatally shooting two protesters and wounding a third during a night of unrest following the weekend police shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha.

>>Kenosha Shooting Suspect Faces Homicide Charges In Protesters' Deaths

The Illinois judge postponed Kyle Rittenhouse's extradition hearing to Sept. 25 during a brief hearing that was streamed online. Rittenhouse faces five felony charges, including first-degree intentional homicide and first-degree reckless homicide, and a misdemeanor charge for possession of a dangerous weapon by a minor.

Rittenhouse did not appear in the livestreamed hearing, where his attorney Jennifer Snyder, an assistant public defender in Lake County, Illinois, asked for the delay. The judge said Rittenhouse had been permitted to speak by phone with his mother and was in the process of hiring an attorney.

Rittenhouse, a white teen who was armed with a semi-automatic rifle as he walked Kenosha's streets with other armed civilians during this week's protests, would face a mandatory life sentence if convicted of first-degree intentional homicide. Under Wisconsin law, anyone 17 or older is treated as an adult in the criminal justice system.

- Associated Press

10:05 a.m.: DOJ Names Two Other Officers At Scene Of Blake Shooting 

The Wisconsin Department of Justice Friday morning released the names of two other Kenosha police officers at the scene of Jacob Blake’s shooting, along with other details from that day.

DOJ had already named Rusten Sheskey, the officer who shot Blake seven times. DOJ says Sheskey and officer Vincent Arenas used Tasers on Blake when they were trying to arrest him, but the Taser attempts “failed.” Officer Brittany Meronek was also present. None were wearing body cameras, because the Kenosha Police Department does not have them.

The DOJ release states that police went to the 4800 block of 40th Street after a female caller “reported that her boyfriend was present and was not supposed to be on the premises.”

DOJ, which is investigating the Blake shooting, said earlier this week that Blake admitted to having a knife in his possession, and the knife was later found in the driver’s side floorboard of his vehicle.

Shesky has been on the Kenosha police force for seven years. Arenas has been with the department since February 2019. Meronek joined the department in January 2020.

- Emily Files

8:44 a.m.: Reaction to Rittenhouse Charges: "It's Justice. We Seek Justice."

An Illinois teenager who allegedly shot two people to death and wounded one person in Kenosha Tuesday night has been charged with first degree intentional homicide, first degree reckless homicide and four other charges. Kenosha County District Attorney Mike Graveley filed the criminal complaint Thursday against Kyle Rittenhouse. The 17-year-old is accused of firing at Black Lives Matter protestors after law enforcement forced the demonstrators out of downtown Kenosha and south on Sheridan Road.

This week's protests have been in response to Kenosha police severely wounding a Black man, Jacob Blake, Sunday afternoon after responding to what police say was a domestic incident. Clyde McLemore of the Lake County Illinois Chapter of Black Lives Matter says what happens with the Rittenhouse case is very important.

"It's justice. We seek justice. One of them guys that got killed was personally guarding me. You know, what I'm saying? Earlier that day, he personally guarded me," McLemore says.

The criminal complaint lists the deceased as 36 year old Joseph Rosenbaum and 26 year old Anthony Huber. According to media reports, a public defender in Illinois is currently assigned to Rittenhouse.

- Chuck Quirmbach