KENOSHA ⏤ During last night’s City Council meeting, alderpersons voted to increase the bond amount for the charge of inciting violence by more than 10 times from $124 to $1,321.
That measure passed by a slim margin of 9-7. It is effective immediately.
Likewise, the city also approved emergency authorization for Mayor John Antaramian, which he can use to call a curfew in the event of any unrest this week.
All of the measures are the result of Kenosha County District Attorney Michael Graveley’s impending decision on whether or not to charge Kenosha Police Department officer Rusten Sheskey with a crime for shooting Jacob Blake in the back seven times on Aug. 23, 2020, in the city.
While both measures passed Monday night, statements from alderpersons during the meeting showed frustrations with the methodology the city has used heading into this week.
Discussion on bond amount
Both Dist. 7 Ald. Shayna Griffin and Dist. 10 Ald. Anthony Kennedy objected to increasing the bond amount for the charge of inciting violence.
The measure ultimately passed.
The ordinance passed Monday night increases the bond amount more than 10 times.
And while some believe it adds more weight to the charge to deter violence, Griffin and Kennedy argued that it wouldn’t have the desired effect. In fact, likely the people who were truly inciting violence before would still not care now.
Council votes to open citizens’ comments, though not required to
During Monday night’s meeting, while discussing the authorization of emergency powers for Antaramian during potential civil unrest in the coming days, the council chose to open the floor to citizens’ comments, which was not on Monday’s agenda.
How city is spreading info is ineffective, Kangas says
Dist. 4 Ald. Holly Kangas used her comments Monday night during the curfew issue of the City Council’s agenda to address her perceived inadequacy in how the city has been sending information to the public while waiting for the Blake shooting ruling from Graveley.
She also stated she believes the city’s response gives the perception that officials knew the ruling beforehand. Which the mayor assured her the city only knows when it will be made, not what the announcement is.
Kennedy asks mayor to explain response
Kennedy, while supporting authorizing emergency powers for Mayor John Antaramian, asked him to explain the process he would use to make determinations.
He also asked if there is “a scenario these powers will not be used”.
To which the mayor responded that, yes, but it will depend on what he hears from local law enforcement.
Ald. Paff makes seemingly sympathetic Rittenhouse statements to council
During the meeting, District 6 Ald. David Paff gave seemingly sympathetic statements about Kyle Rittenhouse, who is on currently going through the court system on charges of murdering two local residents on Aug. 25, 2020, on Sheridan Road in downtown.
Rittenhouse, as well as everyone on the streets in Kenosha that night, was in violation of the curfew set by the mayor after the council previously authorized him to have emergency powers.
“I would say that because of curfew last time, I firmly believe that had curfew been enforced, I believe that Kyle Rittenhouse, the incident there would not have occurred,” Paff said.
“So I strongly feel there was an element of malfeasance on the part of us not enforcing that curfew.”
Griffin comments, citizens’ letters not heard by council
Near the end of Griffin’s comments on the curfew issue, she drew attention to submitted comments from citizens that she had not hear read into the record.
While Antaramian did not have the full letters read into the record, the names of the citizens who sent them were.