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With the city of Kenosha, Wisconsin reeling, and literally on fire in the wake of the brutal police shooting of Jacob Blake, we are beginning to get alarming clarity about how law enforcement works there.
Moments ago, Kyle Rittenhouse of Illinois was arrested and charged with the felony murder of two protestors, and the critical wounding of another one, in Kenosha last night. Kyle, who could be seen on cell phone footage, fully armed with an assault rifle, walking the streets freely in the presence of police both before and after the shooting, was clearly protected by a layer of privilege that Black protesters across the country simply never receive.
But new footage shows that it was more than just white privilege protecting Kyle. He was a part of a mob of heavily armed white militia men, who openly claimed that they coordinated their entire strategy with local police.
This man, who was a key organizer of the armed white militia, said, “Do you know what the cops told us today? We’re going to push them to you, because you can deal with them, then we’re going to leave.”
In essence, he said that he collaborated with police directly and that police pushed protesters toward the armed militia, so that they could “deal with them” directly.
After reviewing several hours worth of footage from last night, that appears to be exactly what police did. As shots rang out all over the place, police were nowhere to be found. They left just as planned.
The State of Wisconsin must immediately investigate the coordination of local police with local white supremacists and militia members.
As I said on my podcast earlier today, American policing is just an extension of white power. The very systems exist to protect and maintain white power at the particular expense of Black people. And Kenosha has exposed this in a way similar to Ferguson six years ago. What’s enormously frustrating is that the problems we had six years ago on police violence and racial injustice have hardly budged in spite of all of our well intentioned efforts.
Editor’s note: The above Instagram video has not been verified.