Wisconsin police shoot Black man several times from behind, sparking protests
The Sunday shooting sparked protests in the small northwestern city. The involved officers were placed on leave.
A Black man was shot by police in Kenosha, Wisconsin on Sunday, and protests have started to spark in the small northwestern city.
The man, 29-year-old Jacob Blake, appears to be shot in the back by officers as he walks away from them. In the video, an officer is seen holding Blake’s shirt and then firing into the man’s back.
GRAPHIC WARNING: This video contains police and racialized violence and may be triggering to viewers.
According to local news outlet WDJT, Kenosha police provided aid to the man, and he was transported via Flight for Life to a Milwaukee hospital, where he remains in intensive care.
The involved officers, who were unnamed, have been placed on administrative leave, according to the Wisconsin Department of Justice’s Division of Criminal Investigation.
The shooting happened around 5 p.m. when officers responded to a “domestic incident.” Witnesses have told the Kenosha News that Blake was trying to break up a verbal altercation between two women.
Early reports say that Blake was unarmed. It has not been confirmed if there was a weapon inside the vehicle.
Residents in the area told Kenosha News that nothing like this incident has ever occurred in that neighborhood. Annie Louise Hurst, a 50-year resident of the area, just shook her head. “This is just a tragedy. It’s just so sad,” she said. “There’s never been nothing like this before,” said her husband, John.
Civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump tweeted that Blake’s three sons were inside the car and witnessed the shooting. “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!!”
Kenosha declared a state of emergency on Sunday night and instituted a curfew until Monday morning. A tweet from the police department claimed “numerous arm robberies and shots fired calls.”
Blake’s name is trending on Twitter as people discuss the shooting. Writer and activist Roxane Gay wrote, “I am thinking of his children who witnessed this shooting and his fiancée and family. I am beyond anger at this point. We all should be.”
Democratic Gov. Tony Evers issued a statement offering his condolences. “While we do not have all the details yet, what we know for certain is 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 in our country,” he said.
“We stand with all those who have and continue to demand justice, equality and accountability for Black lives in our country — lives like those of George Floyd, of Breonna Taylor, Tony Robinson, Denise Hamilton, Earnest Lacy, and Sylville Smith. And we stand against excessive use of force and immediate escalation when engaging with Black Wisconsinites.”
Have you subscribed to theGrio’s podcast “Dear Culture”? Download our newest episodes now!