Lake Region President Addresses Racial Unrest After Kenosha Police Shooting

Another African American man has been unjustifiably shot—in the back, no less—by a white police officer. Another round of violent protests by enraged citizens has erupted as a consequence. Another plea for peaceful demonstrations has been issued. Another state of emergency has been declared. Another contingent of the National Guard has been deployed.

Three months after the unwarranted killing of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer, the Black Lives Matter movement has a new flashpoint. As with Floyd, were it not for footage shot by an alert bystander we may never have known what happened to Jacob Blake, Jr. In this case, the video shows Blake walking around and trying to get into his car before a police officer grabs him by the shirt and shoots him at point blank range multiple times in his back. In the car were Blake’s three children, one of whom was celebrating a birthday that very day. At this moment Blake is hospitalized in critical condition, his family reportedly saying that he is paralyzed from the waist down.

People of conscience must unite in condemning this latest act of questionable police conduct that took place in broad daylight. When will these senseless encounters that are prone to go awry cease? The indiscriminate shootings of African American men by law enforcement is anything but sporadic or isolated. They are atrocities that illustrate that black men are undervalued in the United States of America and that, at the very least, law enforcement needs training in how to deescalate tense situations.

Kenosha, Wisconsin, is within the territory of the Lake Region Conference and we cannot be silent in the face of the travesty that took place there a few days ago. We bemoan the unjustifiable shooting of Jacob Blake, Jr., and we join voices with those crying out for justice. Our prayers are ascending on behalf of Jacob Blake, Jr., whose life has been irreversibly altered. We resonate with the sentiments of his mother, who has decried the violent demonstrations and has appealed for peaceful protests that respect life and property. We pray for Blake’s children, who may be emotionally scarred for life as a result of witnessing firsthand the near slaughter of their father at the hands of police. We commit to eradicating every ideology that divides or demeans, and every practice that decimates or destroys.

The call of Scripture is that God’s people pursue justice and respect all life (Micah 6:8; Gen. 1:26). Now, more than ever, is the time for us to answer that call. The blood of Jacob Blake, Jr. and countless other African Americans demand that we embrace that call.


This article was written by R. Clifford Jones, president of Lake Region Conference and originally appeared on the Lake Union Herald website.

Photo by Zack Payne and Chrystelle Sachse courtesy of the Lake Union Herald website.


We invite you to join our community through conversation by commenting below. We ask that you engage in courteous and respectful discourse. You can view our full commenting policy by clicking here.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at
1 Like

You have obviously put on your “Outrage Glasses” in characterizing the events with more certainty than the facts would warrant. These phrases go beyond the evidence:

“unjustifiably shot” You can have that opinion, but you don’t have the information to say with certainty that there was no justification to assume that a violent suspect wanted for a felony was not, in fact, escalating the situation into a life threatening situation.

“indiscriminate shootings of African American men” This wasn’t an indiscriminate encounter. It wasn’t a traffic stop. It was a response to a 911 emergency call wherein the 911 operator told the officers that the suspect had an outstanding arrest warrant for a sex crime and was armed. The suspect refused to comply with police instructions and used violence to resist arrest. In no way can you call this “indiscriminate”.

“They are atrocities that illustrate that black men are undervalued” This would have merit if he had been accosted by the police without cause, but Blake was anything but an innocent victim.

“We bemoan the unjustifiable shooting of Jacob Blake” Again, you fail to acknowledge the context of a violent suspect resisting the police.

You should pick your “victims” more carefully.

Last night, just an hour south of the events of Kenosha, during a traffic stop in Chicago by two police officers, a suspect refused to exit the vehicle and scuffled with the cops. He reached/moved into the back seat and shot both officers, one with life threatening injuries. They couldn’t see what he was reaching for before being shot.

The Chicago Sun Times this morning stated "The officers broke the windows after the suspect, who appeared to have moved from the front seat to the back seat, refused to get out of the car, Brown said, and a struggle ensued.

During the struggle, the suspect shot both officers. A third officer arrived and returned fire, hitting the suspect, the superintendent said.

Brown said the injured officers were “wearing body cams and it’s being reviewed.”

This is an excellent example of what can happen with such an incident. It happens fast and is unpredictable. Being a police officer confronting violent offenders is extremely dangerous and can be life threatening. This situation is not unlike the Blake incident at all. As Blake reached down to the floorboard, the police officer’s view was blocked by Blake’s body. Whatever he was reaching for could have presented a clear and present danger. The fact that the suspect was already violent showed mal-intent.

We don’t yet know the race of the perp or of the officers in Chicago, and it is irrelevant. But if the officers had shot first and they had been white while the suspect was black, we would have more riots. The opportunists would be outraged once again, happy to have one more pretext to justify their rage. Do you suppose that this incident will get even 1% of the coverage that the Blake event received? Why? Is there an agenda at work here?


Ahhhhh, I believe this police call was the result of a domestic violence dispute involving Mr. Blake. He is not the innocent father, mercilessly shot in the back by police as this blog writer portrays. It would behoove him to examine the entire incidence, instead of a video of just selected portion of the encounter before drawing the conclusions he does.


Never let facts get In the way of a agenda driven narrative.


This should be the opening news story on CNN, but don’t hold your breath waiting for it to happen. Like the rest of the liberal media, they have an agenda, and this one doesn’t fit into their narrative.


Just imagine (we don’t know the ethnicities yet) that the suspect was black and the cops were white. They shot into the car and killed the suspect before he had the chance to shoot at them. CNN and all the opportunistic race pimps would be all over this as the newest example of systemic racism. Just like the writer of this article, it would be shouted from the rooftops that this was an unjustified reaction by racist cops who don’t value black lives. There would be more “justifiable” demonstrations and looting, all in the name of justice.

But there will be no coverage of this story in the national media because it doesn’t fit the need for continued outrage. The silence is deafening.


Of course, shooting someone in the back is justified, silly me!!

1 Like

Have you considered the word imprudent?

Well, the perp-whom the social justice guerilla warriors have handily morphed into a victim/saint/hero-
had been charged with sexual assault on his ex-girlfriend, who received a protective no-contact SRO prohibiting he come within a set distance of the children, or her children-
took her children in her car-and was properly being apprehended.

Tragically, in a hardly surprising move in this age, he refused to comply, tussled with police, apparently reached for or was in possession of a knife and finally attempted to flee with the real victims cars and her children.

Did he deserve to be shot? Perhaps not. But the LEO, charged with safety of the public (and the victim and her children) had to act. He chose a course of action which every person of reasonable age and competence would realize would subject him to increasing force.

Was he shot in the back? Yes-but it was not a “back shooting”-he apparently was in possession of a known weapon (and perhasp likely reaching for an unknown one).Should he have been shot multiple times? Well, ask any sane LEO if he believes he should “count bullets” or ask the non compliant to “please turn around so I can shoot you fair and square” (even as perp was potentially drawing on LEO). And don’t even suggest “winging him” instead of centermass. A wounded armed suspect on the lam is even more dangerous-to everyone around.

No, trained to identify perp, attempt de-escalation but prepare increasing force use, and identify risk elevations-he will fire, centermass, and without counting. Just like the cop killed in St Louis last night, it takes just a second to reverse the outcome-which-ironically, is a many times higher probability that a cop (of any race) is killed by a black suspect or person of interest.

The more society accepts the lie that the police, as a whole-are to blame, the more frequent non-compliance, return lethal force, and perhaps intentional “cop hunting” will occur.

The result will be a totally helpless society unable to maintain order, peace, or safety.

Let me ask everyone-of the dozen or so black men killed by police last year, however tragically or justified-would you trust THESE men to uphold law and justice, peace, safety?
Then consider the 106 cops killed in the line of duty during the same approximate time frame.

We’ve paid a too high price. Just as every black man is not a criminal, nor every white man a racist, 99.5% of cops are not wrong. Indiscriminately allowing them to be killed by appeasing society bent on believing even if the small percentage of black men who ARE criminals are somehow justified in their burning, looting, murdering.


actually the only information needed is the widely seen video of blake walking away from police to his car door, closely hounded by cops who wanted him to let them handcuff him…their outrage was in their inability to get him to cooperate with what they wanted…

but what was the point of trying to stop blake…they had his car info, and could use it to look up his address, and confront him afterwards, after tensions had cooled…why did they need blake to accede to their view of the world right then and there…

and what possible point was there in shooting blake in the back seven times at close range…was that supposed to get him to turn around and let them handcuff him…

i think any reasonable reflection will conclude that the cops in this instance were way off the rails…irrespective of blake’s criminal past, or evident disrespect, there’s no possible usefulness to shooting someone in the back seven times at close range unless the object is to unload frustration and inflict a retaliatory response that cannot be responded to…this object isn’t in a cop’s job description…


Your approach to this situation is similar to previous discussions we have had on other topics. It seems that you assume facts not in evidence and ignore inconvenient evidence.

Does the video show everything that happened, from every perspective, and with the view available to the police? Obviously not.

Does the audio of the police repeatedly shouting “Drop the knife” have any relevance to you? Apparently not.


“Walking away” ? This is contextually incorrect. He was resisting arrest.

“Hounding by the cops” ? Because he was not allowing them to handcuff him. It would be easier for you to understand what was going on if you looked at it through the eyes of the law/Police. By the way that’s the only legal way to look at this. Period. Deadly force is presumptively recognized when an “officer could reasonably have interpreted the suspect’s movement as ‘reaching for a weapon.’”

“What possible point in shooting Blake in the back 7 times” That multiple shots were fired does not suggest the officers shot mindlessly as much as it indicates that they sought to ensure the elimination of a deadly threat.

You conclude, “There’s no possible usefulness to shooting someone in the back seven times at close range unless the object is to unload frustration and inflict a retaliatory response that cannot be responded to…this object isn’t in a cop’s job description…” A hasty conclusion with no basis in fact.

What about the children in the van? One argument advanced by Blake’s lawyer that Blake was checking on children and was shot in front of them, but was he possibly a deadly threat to them? The police had to make a split-second decision that yes he could harm the children. he had resisted arrest, he had struggled with the police, he possibly overdosed on drugs, he had been tased twice. Of course, it would be reasonable to think he was a danger to the children.

The police we in fact solidly on the “rails”


sadly, from my prospective, the real racists are coming out…they seem to be the leadership of the Adventist church :sob:

none of these facts overcomes the gross impropriety of shooting someone in the back seven times from close range…this particular act is the only fact that needs consideration…there is almost no conceivable justification for such an act short of blake dropping an atomic bomb on wisconsin…


the police were off the rails, stan…they had the information they needed to look blake up afterwards, after tensions had eased…but they either chose not to, or didn’t consider that it was an option…obviously they acted out of frenzy and situational rage…pulling a trigger seven times is hardly a calm, considered act…


From your response I can see that you didn’t bother to follow up on my suggestion that you inform yourself on police lethal force procedures. That you can find “no conceivable justification for such an act” indicates that you have not taken the smallest steps toward gaining any knowledge on the subject. I’ll be happy to discuss this with you if and when you show some awareness of the articles dealing with proper police procedure. Spouting off emotionally is not a substitute for knowledge.

Once again, Google “Why cops don’t shoot to wound”. There are a number of articles dealing with when, why, and how to use lethal force along with information on supreme court rulings. Please inform yourself.



The police were not off the rails. Why? Because (whither you or I agree) the judgment for the existing situation (IE Blake) is done by the officer(s) I quote for an article online, " The key question in this analysis is whether the suspect “poses a threat.” “A nascent threat can be sufficient; it need not materialize to the point of harm.” Thus, an officer need not wait until a suspect knives or shoots someone, but “may anticipatorily use a weapon to protect himself or others.” In other words, “[i]t is the perceived threat of attack by a suspect, apart from the actual attack, to which the officer may respond preemptively.” That is the end of the argument you are advancing. As I said it does not matter what your and my Monday morning QBing thinks. It is what the officer on the scene deems necessary.

I believe a follow-up consideration/policy readjustment is police training and the admittance of only qualified candidates. Training in other countries is far more comprehensive and rigorous.

I agree.

Former New York Jets defensive lineman Michael Faulkner, now a pastor at a Harlem church, has similarly criticized the direction that violent protests have taken under BLM. “It infuriates me as a Black man, a father and as a minister that radicals are inciting or condoning riots in my name and in the name of our struggle,” Faulkner recently wrote. “Breaking into a department store or throwing objects at police officers, many of whom are Black or Brown, isn’t a protest against racial injustice; it’s criminality.”

Its past time to stand up against BLM.

Any real racist among SDA leadership does not include the author of this article. It is high time for old white males to shut up and listen to our brothers of color in the church. If one has not walked in their shoes, then one must not judge. As Christ said “Judge not that ye be not judged” Matt. 7:1 KJV.


Why is it that before criticizing anyone, you should walk a mile in their shoes?


  1. You have a one mile head start.
  2. You have their shoes.