The footage of police shooting Jacob Blake seven times while he was leaning into his SUV where his three children were already present is now viral.
Disclaimer: This story contains graphic images and videos of shooting that readers may find disturbing
The city of Kenosha in Wisconsin quickly became the country's latest point of unrest after cops shot and wounded a Black man, apparently in the back. The footage of police shooting Jacob Blake seven times while he was leaning into his SUV where his three children were already present, was circulated widely on social media Sunday and left onlookers outraged. In a news release, the Kenosha Police Department said that a person - suspected to be 29-year-old Blake - was hospitalized following a shooting by officers around 5:00 p.m. while they were responding to a "domestic incident." Although the officers did not reveal the reason that led to the shooting, they said the person was transported to a hospital in Milwaukee for treatment in serious condition, reports Huff Post.
Hundreds of protesters took to the streets after a viral video appeared to show police shooting a Black man in the back. https://t.co/uqKDMZNxqB— NewsChannel 8 | KTUL (@KTULNews) August 24, 2020
By Sunday, several vehicles were set on fire, and windows were left smashed as the crowds spilled into the streets and faced off with law enforcement. Cops in riot gear stood in line to prevent them from damaging city buildings. There were several SWAT vehicles present, as the officers used tear gas to disperse the crowd around 30 minutes after the 8 p.m. curfew went into effect. But protestors continued chanting "No justice, no peace," as they confronted officers guarding the courthouse entrance. Many demonstrators were reportedly screaming at the police and setting fires in places, including a garbage truck near the courthouse.
According to reports, three officers could be seen yelling and pointing their weapons at a man who was walking around the front of a parked vehicle. As he attempted to lean into the vehicle, one officer grabbed his shirt from behind and fired into the vehicle. Several shots could be heard following this. The bystander, 22-year-old Raysean White, who recorded the incident, said he saw six or seven women shouting at each other moments before the shooting, according to Star Tribune. After a few moments, Blake drove up in his SUV and asked his son, who was standing nearby, to get into car. White revealed that Blake did not say anything to the women.
Do you mean the party that tolerates shooting unarmed, nonviolent, non threatening black people?— Lisa (@teachezart) August 24, 2020
At this point White had left his spot and when he returned he saw Blake struggling with three officers, as they punched I'm in the ribs. At one point he heard them yell, "Drop the knife! Drop the knife!" as the man managed to free himself and walk towards his vehicle. But White says he did not see a knife in Blake's hands. Soon after that they opened fire. While releasing a statement, the police department did not mention whether Blake was carrying a weapon or not and didn't immediately disclose the race if the three officers involved in the shooting.
No need to protest. The cops were at risk when the perpetrator failed to stop at their commands and continued to his vehicle and reached quickly inside the door for what could have been a weapon. They could of tackled him before he got to the car and he could have cooperated.— RedHotWings (@duttch007) August 24, 2020
The actions of the officers quickly drew condemnation from not only the public but also Democratic Governor Tony Evers. On Monday, he called out 125 members of the National Guard after protestors destroyed property and clashed with cops in riot gear the night before. Furthermore, he revealed that there was no information that suggested, Blake was carrying a knife or some other weapon. That being said, the case is still being investigated by the Justice Department of the state. In response to the outrageous shooting, the officers were immediately placed on administrative leave, which is the standard protocol in a case involving shooting by police. Details about the officers are yet to be released.
Common theme? Resisting arrest.— Blair Lewis (@blair0lewis) August 24, 2020
Evers didn't hesitate to criticize the violence, noting that all details of the case is yet to be known. "What we know for certain is that he is not the first Black man or person to have been shot or injured or mercilessly killed at the hands of individuals in law enforcement in our state or our country," he said. Meanwhile, Joe Biden, the Democratic Presidential nominees said that the responsible officers "must be held accountable." He also added, "This morning, the nation wakes up yet again with grief and outrage that yet another Black American is a victim of excessive force."
Kenosha, Wisconsin police shot a Black man, 29-year-old Jacob Blake, from behind, leading to protests to erupt overnight with a state of emergency curfew declared. https://t.co/c0iF6s1JLq— ABC30 Fresno (@ABC30) August 24, 2020
The shooting comes during a summer of excessive racial turmoil across the country following the deaths of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Rayshard Brooks in Atlanta and Breonna Taylor in Louisville, Kentucky. "Those shots pierce the soul of our nation," continued Biden. The representative of Blake's family, Civil rights attorney Ben Crump, said that the man was "simply trying to do the right thing by intervening in a domestic incident." Laquisha Booker's Blake's parter told NBC's Milwaukee affiliate WTMJ-TV, that their three kids were in the back seat of the SUV when the police shot him. "That man just literally grabbed him by his shirt and looked the other way and was just shooting him. With the kids in the back screaming. Screaming," she said.