WARNING: This story contains graphic video. Please watch at your own discretion.
A 29-year-old Black man is in serious condition after police shot him in the back multiple times on Sunday, in an incident captured on video in Kenosha, Wisc.
Jacob Blake was rushed to a hospital in Milwaukee for surgery after the incident, which happened in front of a crowd of onlookers who recorded video of the shooting on Sunday around 5 p.m.
A 20-second video shows Blake walking away from three police officers and attempting to get into his SUV. The officers can be seen pursuing Blake with their guns drawn. Several neighbours watch from nearby, and a few of them scream and shout at the officers.
Blake, who appears to be unarmed in the video, opens the driver’s door and attempts to get into the SUV. An officer tries to stop him by pulling on his white tank top. Seven gunshots ring out, then Blake slumps into the SUV and the car horn starts going off. A woman runs over to the scene and starts screaming.
A black object is visible on the pavement beside the SUV but it’s unclear what the object is, and Blake makes no move to reach for it in the video.
Kenosha police say the officers provided immediate medical assistance after the shooting, and that Blake was airlifted to hospital in serious condition. As of Monday morning, Blake remains in hospital.
The Kenosha Police Department says officers were responding to a report of domestic violence. They did not explain Blake’s involvement, why he was shot or how many of the shots actually hit him.
Wisconsin’s Department of Justice is now investigating the shooting. All three officers from the incident have been put on administrative leave.
Several witnesses told Kenosha News that Blake was trying to break up a fight between two women outside a home in the area, and that his children were in the SUV at the time. They say the officers used a stun gun on Blake, then pursued him to his car and shot him in the back.
Blake’s fiancée, Laquisha Booker, said their three children were in the back seat of the SUV when he was shot.
“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,” Booker told local station WTMJ-TV.
Dozens showed up to protest the shooting on Sunday night, where they were met by a large number of police and patrol vehicles. The angry protesters damaged several police vehicles and hit one officer with a brick, video shows. Riot police deployed tear gas and blocked off the area around the Kenosha County Public Safety Building, which was damaged during the protest.
The outrage spilled over onto social media, where Black Lives Matter supporters condemned yet another police shooting of a Black person. People added Blake’s name to a list of other Black victims of police, including Breonna Taylor and George Floyd, whose death sparked nationwide protests in May.
“They shot him seven times. In the back. In front of his children,” actor Aisha Tyler tweeted. “Say his name. Jacob Blake.”
Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers, a Democrat, released Blake’s name in a statement on Sunday night. He also tied the shooting to past cases of police violence against Black people.
Tonight, Jacob Blake was shot in the back multiple times, in broad daylight, in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Kathy and I join his family, friends, and neighbors in hoping earnestly that he will not succumb to his injuries.
— Governor Tony Evers (@GovEvers) August 24, 2020
“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 wrote.
“We stand with all those who have and continue to demand justice, equity, and accountability for Black lives in our country.”
Online court records indicate Kenosha County prosecutors charged Blake on July 6 with sexual assault, trespassing and disorderly conduct in connection with domestic abuse, The Associated Press reports. An arrest warrant was issued the following day. The records contain no further details and do not list an attorney for Blake.
—With files from The Associated Press
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