Trigger warning: some links may lead to graphic videos depicting police brutality and violence
Despite ongoing nationwide protests against systemic racism and police brutality, cops in my hometown of Kenosha, Wisconsin shot Jacob Blake, an unarmed black man, seven times in the back at point-blank range as he attempted to get into an SUV where his three sons were waiting for him.
In broad daylight on August 23 around 5 p.m., cops responded to a “domestic incident” in Kenosha. A witness at the scene says Blake arrived before the cops to pick up one of his sons and deescalate a dispute between two women. When the witness returned to check on the scene, cops were wrestling with Jacob Blake for an unknown reason.
Blake was allegedly tased before numerous videos show him walking towards the SUV where his three sons — ages 3, 5, and 8 — were waiting in the backseat as at least two cops had guns trained on him. When Blake went to enter the car, one police officer grabbed him by his shirt and shot him seven times in the back (you can watch the graphic video here).
Officers provided medical aid before Blake was flown by helicopter to Froedert Hospital in Milwaukee for immediate surgery. He is now in intensive care, according to his family.
Two Kenosha police officers involved in the shooting have been put on leave pending an investigation. The scene has since been turned over from the Kenosha Police Department to the Kenosha County Sheriff’s Department and Wisconsin State Patrol.
The Kenosha Professional Police Association has already attempted to defend themselves, saying,
“As always, the video currently circulating does not capture all the intricacies of a highly dynamic incident. We ask that you withhold from passing judgment until all the facts are known and released.”
Since the shooting, protests and fires have broken out in the small Wisconsin city. Protesters were met with tear gas, rubber bullets, and police outfitted with batons in-hand. County officials implemented a citywide curfew until 7 a.m. Monday morning in an effort to prevent further protests.
Jeffrey Robinson, a deputy legal director with the ACLU, said of Blake’s shooting,
“With each of the seven shots fired, the police department made their intent clear — they believed they had the right to kill an unarmed Black man for the crime of walking away from them.”