Outrage in US following police shooting of a Black man in Wisconsin

The man, identified as Jacob Blake, was seen in a viral video being shot by a police officer seven times in the presence of his wife and children

August 24, 2020 by Peoples Dispatch
Sheriff deputies in riot gear and protesters outside the Kenosha Police Department. Photo: Mike De Sisti/ Twitter

New wave of protests erupted across the US state of Wisconsin, after a graphic video of police officers shooting a Black man went viral. The man, identified as Jacob Blake, was shot by a police officer in the evening of Sunday, August 23, in the city of Kenosha.

Within hours of the shooting, hundreds of protesters gathered near the scene of the crime and held a demonstration condemning the violence. The demonstration took place despite the Kenosha county administration having declared an overnight curfew and a state of emergency. Demonstrations were also held outside the Kenosha police department office and in several cities across the state.

Police responded violently to protests and fired tear gas canisters at the crowds in Kenosha. They also attempted to block off the road to the police station with a city dump truck, which according to reports from Liberation News was “set ablaze while police shot rubber bullets at people recording the protest.”

In the graphic video of Blake’s shooting, taken from across the street, the officer is seen shooting Blake seven times in the back while holding him inside his car. Blake’s wife and children were also present at the time of the incident, according to a statement by the attorney representing the family.

Details of the incident are still unclear, with limited information being given out by Kenosha police. According to reports, the police stated that at the time of the incident they were responding to a domestic violence call in the area but no details were given about the caller or the call itself.

State governor Tony Evers also added that Blake is currently receiving medical care, after being airlifted to a hospital. Family friends have stated that he is out of surgery, but still remains in an intensive care unit.

The shooting happens is the latest since the protests first erupted across the United States against police killings and racism, after George Floyd’s murder in late May.