Hundreds of demonstrators in Kenosha, Wisconsin, took to the streets on Sunday (August 23) after 29-year-old Jacob Blake, an unarmed Black man who was trying to get into his car, was critically wounded by an officer from Kenosha Police Department after being shot multiple times in the back, several news outlets report (Kenosha News, Washington Post, ABC7) in addition to the state’s Governor Tony Evers (D-Wis.).
“While we do not have all of the details yet, 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,” Evers tweeted on August 24 shortly after the shooting.
While we do not have all of the details yet, 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.— Governor Tony Evers (@GovEvers) August 24, 2020
Civil rights lawyer Benjamin Crump, who is now representing Blake in addition to George Floyd’s family, shared additional specifics via Twitter, including the horror that Blake was shot in front of his three small children. According to a statement released by Crump on Twitter, Blake was trying to deescalate a domestically tense situation “when police drew their weapons and tasered him. As he was walking away to check on his children, police fired their weapons several times into his back at point-blank close range.”
Confirmed: Jacob Blake’s 3 SONS were IN THE CAR he was getting into when @KenoshaPolice shot him tonight. They saw a cop shoot their father. They will be traumatized forever. We cannot let officers violate their duty to PROTECT us. Our kids deserve better!! #JusticeForJacobBlake— Ben Crump (@AttorneyCrump) August 24, 2020
Early this morning a person close to Blake’s family tweeted that he was out of surgery and out of ICU. USA Today reports that Blake remains in critical condition. The anger that erupted after the shooting in broad daylight was shared on video, resulted in several fires, including the ground floor of the Kenosha County Courthouse, smashed cars and broken windows, ABC7 reports. One bystander video on Twitter even shows a police officer being smashed in the face with a brick.
With national tension around police killings high, Kenosha declared a state of emergency overnight curfew last night, according to CBS 58, and the state’s Department of Justice is investigating the shooting. As for the officers who shot Blake, CNN reports that both are on administrative leave and neither has been identified. Nonetheless, both politicians and people on social media have responded with anger and calls for substantive change.
Three boys just saw their father shot 7 times in the back by police. No gun. No struggle. He was just walking away.— Jamaal Bowman (@JamaalBowmanNY) August 24, 2020
Praying for Jacob Blake to make a speedy and full recovery.
The issue is systemic. The senate needs to respond boldly and humanely.
This is why we scream BLM! https://t.co/pTsgsLB5ta
Jacob Blake’s sons were in the car when police shot him.— Kirsten West Savali (@KWestSavali) August 24, 2020
Philando’s girlfriend’s daughter was in the car when police killed him.
Tarika’s baby was in her arms when police killed her.
Police don’t care about traumatizing Black children.
Late Sunday afternoon in Kenosha, Wisconsin, Jacob Blake was the victim of another disgusting act of police brutality.— ACLU (@ACLU) August 24, 2020
Within full view of his 3 children seated in the backseat, Blake was shot 7 times in the back while walking away from police officers and opening his car door.
You will start hearing negative stories from the right about Jacob Blake, who clings to life after he was shot in the back 7 TIMES by cops in front of his 3 sons.— BrooklynDad_Defiant! (@mmpadellan) August 24, 2020
None of the negative stories matter. HE was the victim here.
SAY HIS NAME. pic.twitter.com/oSqfz6M2Nv
He was trying to break up a fight.— Aisha Tyler (@aishatyler) August 24, 2020
He wasn’t armed.
He was relieved police had arrived to handle the fight, so he went to get in his car and drive his children safely home.
They shot him seven times.
In the back.
In front of his children.
Say his name.
Jacob Blake wasn’t committing any crime. Instead of asking why he didn’t comply, ask why an officer who was called to the scene for 2 white women fighting somehow shifted his attention to this Black man, drew his gun on him, and shot him 7 times in the back.— Olayemi, Esq. (@msolurin) August 24, 2020