Kenosha residents hope Biden is ready to support Black lives after Wisconsin visit
KENOSHA, Wis. (CBS 58) -- Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden visited Kenosha on Thursday, Sept. 3, to hear from the community.
Biden spent part of his day listening inside Grace Lutheran Church, as residents told him the change they wanted in their city.
“There’s a difference between a protester and a rioter," said Porche Bennett, resident and executive director of Black Lives Activist of Kenosha (B.L.A.K.).
Bennett said she was simply speaking her heart.
“Why are there more police officers in the Black neighborhoods than in other neighborhoods? Why are we more targeted than anybody else?" she asked. "We walk somewhere (and) automatically it’s, ‘you fit the description.’”
“He was willing to listen," she said. "He did something that a lot of other people aren’t willing to do.”
But some felt Biden’s brief appearance was a campaign stunt.
“I think about Biden, which I think about Trump – this is all political," resident and activist La-Ron said.
They wanted to see Biden on the streets. They wanted him to listen even more.
“You passed the bill into office – the mass incarceration bill – which many Black people, Latino people, we're suffering from to this day. So until you want us to believe that you’re really with us, do something for us. Go back and repeal what you put through."
Bennett also told CBS 58 B.L.A.K.'s demands with the Jacob Blake shooting case.
“Attorney Michael Graveley shall immediately arrest and charge the four officers who were on the scene of Jake Blake," she said.
The group supports defunding city police for more investments in jobs, healthcare and education.
And while her city is in the spotlight, Bennett said their fight isn’t just for Kenosha.
“We’re speaking for Kenosha, we’re speaking for Zion, we’re speaking for Minneapolis. We’re speaking for whoever is going through something – no matter where they’re at," she said.
Among others, the group is also calling for the firing of Kenosha Police Chief Dan Miskinis.
They also want a diverse community accountability board and more Black officers patrolling the city.