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Senator Royce West: District 23
News Release
August 25, 2020
Contact: Kelvin Bass
Statement from State Senator Royce West in response to the shooting of Jacob Blake

I am all at once saddened, perplexed, alarmed, frustrated and yes outraged, after learning of another shooting of another supposedly unarmed African American by yet another member of law enforcement for what appears to be for unwarranted reasons.

Yes, there remains more information on this incident - which took place Sunday in Kenosha, Wisconsin - to be revealed. And without doubt, the matter will be investigated. But what the public knows now, again does not pass the naked eye or smell test.

Again, we see bystander video that showed a man with no visible weapon followed by two officers around his vehicle. We witness him opening the door of his vehicle, then hear the officer's gunfire. We learn later that a scuffle took place on the other side of Jacob Blake's auto. And we know the entire interaction with Kenosha police took place with Blake's three sons as eyewitnesses inside their dad's SUV. Right now, Blake is alive, but reported partially paralyzed. I question whether Blake would initiate a gunfight with his kids in harm's way.

Many demand criminal justice reform. Some criticize the effects of protests, rather than question their causes. It is problematic also that even in these times of heightened awareness and sensitivity to what protestors call state-sanctioned violence, too many officers continue to react in ways that in the least, place their judgment in question. Name-calling doesn't provide answers.

I am among the members of the Texas Legislature who live with these concerns and work on both sides of a problem for which we have yet to adequately resolve to the satisfaction of any. America, Black Americans in particular, deserve better answers.

We were reminded recently of the saying Black folks can't fix racism. Just as true is that this problem cannot be resolved solely by the perspectives of those who are victims and who see from the bottom. Those who deny that America has systemic issues with how African Americans and other minorities are treated in this country must be willing to address what is visible and apparent and become willing to be part of the solution. That dialogue must start at the top.

For more information, please call Kelvin Bass at 214-467-0123.