A 29-year-old Wisconsin man is alive and fighting for his life after he was reportedly shot seven times in the back while attempting to enter his SUV with his children, aged 3, 5, and 8, inside.
The man, identified as Jacob Blake, is out of surgery and recovering in the ICU after the shooting which took place around 5 p.m. on Sunday in Kenosha. The incident happened less than 48 hours after the shooting of Trayford Pellerin, 31, a Black man who was fatally shot by Lafayette, Louisiana, police outside a convenience store on Saturday.
A tweet shared by Blake’s family member confirmed that he is out of surgery, and calls for calm in the surrounding area. On Sunday night, protesters gathered in the streets of Kenosha, undoubtedly filled with anger and despair as these specific shootings wage on, where Black people are gunned down by people who were sworn to protect them.
The Wisconsin Department of Justice (DOJ)’s Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) is conducting an investigation into the shooting, while two officers officers have been placed on leave, CNN reports. Kenosha police were responding to a domestic disturbance in the area, when the shooting took place.
According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel police arrived and attempted to question Blake who wanted nothing but to leave and make sure his kids were in the car. A now viral video shot by Blake’s neighbor Raysean White, shows where police followed Blake to his car with their guns drawn. One officer fires into Blake’s back causing him to slump into the steering wheel.
Famed civil rights lawyer, Benjamin Crump, who is now representing Blake’s family, confirmed that Blake’s three sons were in the car when the shooting took place. Crump also confirmed that Blake was shot after attempting to deescalate a domestic disturbance, assuming that the cops would take over the situation. Crump also maintains that officers used a taser on Blake prior to the shooting.
“Blake was helping to deescalate a domestic incident when police drew their weapons and tasered him. As he was walking away to check on his children, police fired their weapons several times into his back at point blank range. Blake’s three sons were only a few feet away and witnessed police shoot their father,” Crump’s statement reads.
“They saw a cop shoot their father,” Crump tweeted. “They will be traumatized forever. We cannot let officers violate their duty to PROTECT us. Our kids deserve better!!”
Several witnesses on the scene have corroborated Crump’s report regarding what took place on Sunday night, including Laquisha Booker, who was identified as Blake’s fiance.
“You shot him numerous times, for no reason. It didn’t take all that,” Booker said in an interview with WTMJ. “Disregard that my kids were in the car at all. And you knew they were in there, because I kept screaming that.”.
Several high-profile voices have called for a complete investigation and condemn the shooting.
Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers also tweeted about the shooting on Sunday night.
“I have said all along that although we must offer our empathy, equally important is our action,” he said. “In the coming days, we will demand just that of elected officials in our state who have failed to recognize the racism in our state and our country for far too long.”
The national guard is being called into Kenosha on Monday, which raises more concern regarding civilian safety and protection. When police continuously are let off the hook for participating in these types of actions, the answer is far from more police intervention. Like Rep. Omar said, there has to be more conversations regarding racial bias and dismantling systemic oppression which infiltrates our society.
The Kenosha Professional Police Association are working on a spin narrative to accommodate police after another shooting of a Black man by police in a pandemic has gone viral.
“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,” said Pete Deates, president of the Kenosha Professional Police Association.
Governor Tony Evers and Lieutenant Governor Mandela Barnes are calling a special session on police accountability among state legislatures which will take place on August 31, according to PBS Newshour reporter Yamiche Alcindor.