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Twitter Shouldn’t Let Shaun King Threaten to Name Kenosha Police “who may or may not have” Shot Jacob Blake

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The town of Kenosha, Wisconsin predictably continues to have profound unrest after police shot 29-year-old Black man Jacob Blake seven times in the back on Sunday. The name of the officer who shot Blake has not been publicly disclosed yet, and this is making an already-bad situation even worse. However, it is completely unacceptable for Twitter to amplify this message from Shaun King:

For some personal context: My wife’s best friend and maid of honor at our wedding lives in Kenosha. One of my best friends, who was a groomsman at our wedding, grew up there. I go to Kenosha at least once a year. I have previously written about the racial divide in Wisconsin and their astounding Black incarceration rates. According to data published in the last decade, Black people consisted of six percent of the state’s general population but 37 percent of the state prison population; in 2013, NPR reported that more than 1 in 8 of the black men in the state were incarcerated. This was the highest rate in America.

It’s nearly impossible for me to conceive of a scenario in which shooting Jacob Blake seven times in the back was justifiable.

If Kenosha’s town government and Wisconsin’s state government keep filibustering the naming of the officer, I believe that it *is* the job of the media to report this news. But, for obvious reasons, this isn’t something where there can be even a sliver of doubt.

Therefore, King’s transparent willingness to potentially inaccurately name an officer is completely irresponsible. However, it’s also not surprising. Previously, he falsely accused a man of murdering a seven-year-old Black girl. The man later committed suicide. You’d think this would give him pause for the rest of his life before threatening to potentially get the name of a shooter wrong. But nope.

Last September, prominent Black activist DeRay McKesson wrote a lengthy essay exposing King’s lack of integrity.

“We never aim to replicate the power dynamic of the system we are up against — a system that embraces a devious lack of transparency, willingly sacrifices the vulnerable to protect itself, and replaces truth with convenient lies,” McKesson wrote. “Yet Shaun King has done just that.”

King’s fundraising efforts have had, at best, dubious results and accounting.

“He does not often answer any of the questions or offer any resolution of contradictions raised, but instead, deflects,” wrote McKesson. “What’s more, he often bullies and intimidates those who ask questions at all, turning his ire especially at Black women, attempting to scare inquirers into silence. When asked about the repeated organizations and lack of transparency on funding, he has replied noting that ‘failure is not fraud,’ as if to suggest that questions raised do not warrant serious responses simply because he may have been an ineffective leader. But at a point, those who attempt to lead but consistently demonstrate that they cannot effectively lead should stop.”

The bottom line is that while it’s not surprising for King to cross the line and make threats that could incite further violence, Twitter should not let him do it on their platform. Their rules, which are haphazardly applied, state that “You may not engage in the targeted harassment of someone, or incite other people to do so.”

This thread from King should be a violation of Twitter’s written rules. Will they do anything about it?

Written by Ryan Glasspiegel

Ryan Glasspiegel grew up in Connecticut, graduated from University of Wisconsin-Madison, and lives in Chicago. Before OutKick, he wrote for Sports Illustrated and The Big Lead. He enjoys expensive bourbon and cheap beer.

7 Comments

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  1. People should never respond to threats i don’t know the details yet of why Mr. Blake was shot it was obvious though the cops were called there for something and Mr. Blake was not complying with the police instructions. It is always tragic when someone loses their life the cops have a really tough job never know what they’re going to get when they respond to a call. Don’t know who this King dude is but he certainly is not helping matters acting out like this with tensions this high.

  2. If you are going to include the population percentage of a particular demographic and compare it to their incarceration percentage, wouldn’t it be important to provide the percentage of crimes committed by that population? And maybe go one step further and identify what demographic is disproportionately victimized by the incarcerated group you’re referring to. I bet you would find that the percentage of that victimized group is much higher than their percentage of the population. Just a guess.

  3. “If Kenosha’s town government and Wisconsin’s state government keep filibustering the naming of the officer, I believe that it *is* the job of the media to report this news. But, for obvious reasons, this isn’t something where there can be even a sliver of doubt.”

    It isn’t the job of the media to report the name officer until all facts are in. If only the media was as interested in the names of the perpetrators, or the victims, of the Antifa/BLM mobs in Portland & Kenosha, or gang violence in Chicago. They don’t seem to be as curious in those cases.

    As for the racial percentage in Wisconsin prisons, how many of those cases are violent offenses? If they’re non-violent drug offenses, I agree non prison options may be better. If they are violent, why would anyone send them back into their communities to likely commit more crimes, under the guise of racial justice. We see how that has worked in NYC. Telling violent criminals…”Since you’re black, we’re letting you out so our prison stats look will look better.” THAT would be racist…since law-abiding black citizens will be put at greater risk, just given average recidivism rates.

  4. Ryan, I can think of many reasons for the use of force on a known felon with prior gun charges; especially after shrugging off a taser, escaping from a police takedown, ignoring police commands and reaching into his car that may or may not hold a weapon.

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