Police groups ask Evers administration to stop commenting on Blake shooting ‘until the facts of the investigation are known’

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MADISON, Wis. — Four Wisconsin police groups sent a letter to Gov. Tony Evers and Lieutenant Gov. Mandela Barnes asking the Evers’ administration to stop making statements about the police shooting of Jacob Blake “until the facts of the investigation are known.”

The letter was written on Wednesday.

“A continued pattern of statements and press releases based on opinion and unsubstantiated claims puts people’s lives at risk,” the letter reads. “These are not peaceful protests. There have already been two deaths and many injuries. Continued remarks like those already made by each of you have also put the lives of law enforcement officers, National Guardsmen and the public at risk.”

Wednesday evening, Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul shared new details about the shooting including the name of the officer who shot Blake. Kaul also said officials found a knife on the driver-side floor of his vehicle during a subsequent investigation.

Wednesday night, protests in Kenosha and Madison remained peaceful following violence and chaos the night before.

Overnight on Tuesday, a 17-year-old allegedly shot three people, killing two of them. He was arrested Wednesday morning.

Repeated calls for armed vigilantes to travel to Kenosha, Wisconsin, to protect businesses following the police shooting of Jacob Blake spread across social media in the hours before two people were shot to death and a third was wounded.

The letter was signed by President of the Wisconsin Badger State Sheriff’s Association Sheriff Mark Podoll, President of the Wisconsin Chiefs of Police Association Chief Kenneth Pileggi, President of the Wisconsin Sheriff’s and Deputy Sheriff’s Association Chief Deputy Jeff Spencer, and President of the Wisconsin Police Executive Group Chief William Lamb.

News 3 Now has reached out to Evers’ office for a response.

The letter is available in its entirety below.

“Governor Evers and Lieutenant Governor Barnes:

The purpose of this letter is to respectfully ask that those in your administration discontinue and refrain from making statements and issuing press releases specific to the City of Kenosha Police involved shooting until the facts of the investigation are known.

Previous remarks and statements made by each of you are premature, judgmental, inflammatory and only add to the anger and divisiveness of an already dangerous situation.

A continued pattern of statements and press releases based on opinion and unsubstantiated claims puts people’s lives at risk. These are not peaceful protests. There have already been two deaths and many injuries. Continued remarks like those already made by each of you have also put the lives of Law Enforcement Officers, National Guardsman and the public at risk.

Law Enforcement Leaders also respectfully ask that you call for an end to these riots and a stop to the violence.

Respectfully,

Sheriff Mark Podoll, President WI Badger State Sheriff’s Association

Chief Kenneth Pileggi, President WI Chiefs of Police Association

Chief Deputy Jeff Spencer President WI Sheriff’s and Deputy Sheriff’s Association

Chief William Lamb President WI Police Executive Group”