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Protests erupted in Wisconsin following the shooting of an unarmed Black man by Wisconsin Police. Jacob Blake, 29, was shot several times in the back by Kenosha Police Department officers in front of his children on August 23 following a domestic violence call.
Kenosha police officers were responding to a domestic incident near 28th Avenue and 40th Street around 5:11 p.m, according to a statement from the Wisconsin Attorney General. Jacob was trying to break up a fight between two women when he was tased and then shot by police, The Kenosha News reported.
In a graphic video posted on social media, two officers are seen following Jacob to a gray van with their weapons drawn. As Jacob enters the vehicle, one of the officers is seen grabbing and pulling on Jacob’s shirt and shoots multiple shots into his back. A woman in the video is seen frantically screaming and jumping up and down following the shooting. The 29-year-old was sent to Froedtert Hospital in Milwaukee in serious condition, according to The Kenosha News.
NBA Agent and Jacob’s childhood friend, Daniel Poneman, wrote on Twitter that Jacob was out of surgery and currently in the ICU fighting for his life.
“He is out of surgery and in the ICU. He can make it through this. He is fighting for his life. Please please please pray for Jacob Blake,” Poneman wrote.
The attorney general stated that the Wisconsin Department of Justice (DOJ), Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI), is investigating the shooting and the officers involved were placed on administrative leave as of August 24.
Following the shooting, demonstrators gathered outside the scene of the shooting to protest, WDJT-TV reported. The city of Kenosha issued a city-wide curfew until 7 a.m. on August 24 because of the protests.
“It goes back to the Emmett Tills. We’re tired of it. Rodney King. We’re tired of it. And right now, this is the wrong generation that this is happening to. The frustration is boiling to the top and we’re sick and tired,” said Clyde McLemore, founder of Black Lives Matter of Lake County, Illinois, told the news station.
The shooting comes just days after the fatal police shooting of Trayford Pellerin in Louisiana and anti-racism protests following multiple police-involved deaths.
Who is Jacob?
Civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump, who is representing Jacob and his family, posted on Twitter that he is a father whose three sons witnessed the shooting while sitting in the backseat of the vehicle Jacob was trying to enter.
“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!!” Crump wrote.
Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers said in a statement that he is calling for some empathy from elected officials “in our state who have failed to recognize the racism in our state and our country for far too long.”
“We stand with all those who have and continue to demand justice, equity, and accountability for Black lives in our country—lives like those of George Floyd, of Breonna Taylor, Tony Robinson, Dontre Hamilton, Ernest Lacy, and Sylville Smith. And we stand against excessive use of force and immediate escalation when engaging with Black Wisconsinites,” the statement read.
Jeffery Robinson, the director of the American Civil Liberties Union’s (ACLU) Trone Center for Justice and Equality, called the shooting “another vicious act of police violence caught on camera.”
“Unfortunately, disgusting acts of police brutality like this will be commonplace so long as police continue to act as an occupying force in Black communities,” Robinson said in a statement to The North Star. “It should now be clear to elected officials across the country that the only way to end the scourge of police violence is to immediately divest from a policing institution that, from its inception, has been used to oppress Black people, and reinvest into the same communities that those horrific acts of violence are regularly perpetrated against. Policing is a crisis in and of itself, and we can no longer throw money and resources at an institution as hopelessly broken and expect to get different results.”