Yesterday in Kenosha, Wisconsin, Jacob Blake was shot seven times in the back as police attempted to restrain him from getting into his car.
Witnesses said Jacob Blake had been trying to break up an argument between two women, as he walked back toward his silver SUV on Sunday, an officer trailing behind. As three of Blake’s sons looked on from the vehicle, the officer fired seven times toward Blake’s back at close range. The incident was caught on video, which immediately ricocheted across the Internet.
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Wisconsin’s governor on Monday called in the National Guard to help quell unrest after police shot an unarmed Black man in the latest incident this summer to stir cries of injustice and divide a nation over the urgency of bringing fundamental change to law enforcement.
Blake remained hospitalized in serious condition on Monday, with family members saying he was expected to survive. The officers involved were placed on administrative leave.
Residents of the city about 60 miles north of Chicago woke to burned-out cars and broken glass following the shooting. Just before noon Monday, activists gathered in the neighborhood where the shooting happened before marching downtown to continue the protest.
Clyde McLemore with Black Lives Matter said he had spoken with Blake’s family and attorney, who told him the man’s condition had improved overnight in a local hospital. “He hasn’t left this earth,” McLemore said. “He’s doing good. A lot better than expected.”
Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers, a Democrat, quickly condemned the shooting Sunday night, and the three officers at the scene were placed on administrative leave, standard practice in shootings by police, while the state Justice Department investigates.
Authorities did not disclose the identities of the officers involved or say whether they believed Blake was armed.
The investigation was immediately turned over by the Kenosha Police Department to the Wisconsin Department of Justice, and the three officers who were at the scene were placed on administrative leave.
“What I saw in that video is disturbing,” said Anthony Kennedy, a Kenosha alderman who represents Mr. Blake’s district. “It is heartbreaking. And I don’t have an answer for what happened.”
While body cameras have become standard in many police departments around the country, they have been a matter of debate in Kenosha. Police officers in the city do not wear body cameras now, though the city plans to start using them in 2022, city officials said. Police cars are generally equipped with dashboard cameras.