Following the lead of organizers on the ground, the American Civil Liberties Union of Wisconsin and National ACLU is calling for the immediate resignation of Kenosha Police Chief Daniel Miskinis and Kenosha County Sheriff David Beth. The ACLU’s demand follows the shooting of Jacob Blake and the murder of two protestors, who were shot by a 17-year-old participating in a counter-protest.
Sheriff David Beth's deputies not only fraternized with white supremacist counter-protesters, but ignored alleged shooter Kyle Rittenhouse even as he tried to surrender himself — as people on the street yelled to them that he was the shooter.
Rittenhouse was later arrested in Antioch, Ill., where he lives.
The sheriff excused his deputies by saying they 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, Police Chief Daniel Miskinis blamed the unidentified victims in the shooting for their own deaths, saying the violence was the result of the “persons” involved violating curfew.
He did not criticize the alleged gunman for violating the curfew.
“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. “The only way to rectify these actions is for both Sheriff Beth and Police Chief Daniel Miskinis to immediately tender their resignations.”
If Sheriff Beth and Police Chief Miskinis refuse to immediately tender their resignation, the ACLU is calling for Kenosha Mayor John Antaramian to demand the police chief’s removal by the Kenosha Police and Fire Commission, and the sheriff’s removal by Gov. Tony Evers.
To call for Kenosha County Sheriff David Beth's removal, contact Gov. Tony Evers' Office at (608) 266-1212.
To call for Kenosha Police Chief Daniel Miskinis' resignation, contact the Kenosha Police and Fire Commission at (262)653-4135.