Demands for End to Police Violence Deepen after Wisconsin Police Shoot Black Man Point Blank in Back 7 Times while His Children Watch

By Linh Nguyen

KENOSHA, WI – Yet another violent police shooting of an unarmed Black man Sunday evening here has led to the national outcry about police violence—Kenosha officers responded to a domestic disturbance call that escalated into the shooting of Jacob Blake, a 29-year-old Black man, father of three children.

The three officers involved in the shooting have not yet been identified. They are currently on administrative leave (paid vacation), while state authorities investigate why they shot Blake in the back seven times.

The shooting came as police reform advocates continued to decry police violence in America, especially racially biased attacks. Video footage that was widely shared captured the incident.

One video shows a police officer aiming his gun at Blake as he tried to get into his grey SUV with three of his children in the back seat. As Blake entered the driver side door, the officer grabbed Blake by the shirt and fired point black into his back. Seven shots were heard. Then, Blake’s body fell limp to the ground.

A bystander in the video yelled, “Why would you shoot him? Why would you shoot him that many times?”

Blake was critically injured from the shooting. The officers who shot him gave him first aid before he was medevaced to Froedtert Hospital in Milwaukee, where he is in serious condition and fighting for his life.

Attorney Ben Crump, who represented George Floyd’s family, now represents the Blake family.

According to Crump, Blake was not involved in a domestic altercation; he was breaking up a fight between two women and the police assumed Blake was a problem. The officers became belligerent when Blake walked away from them to check on his children in the car.

“We all watched the horrific video of Jacob Blake being shot in the back several times by Kenosha police,” Crump said in a statement. “Even worse, his three sons witnessed their father collapse after being riddled with bullets. Their (police) irresponsible, reckless, and inhumane actions nearly cost the life of a man who was simply trying to do the right thing by intervening in a domestic incident. It’s a miracle he’s still alive.

“We will seek justice for Jacob Blake and for his family as we demand answers from the Kenosha Police Department. How many more of these tragic ‘while Black’ tragedies will it take until the racial profiling and undervaluing of Black lives by the police finally stops?” Crump said.

In an interview with CNN, Crump acknowledged the future well-being of Blake’s children, who were in the car watching when Blake was shot.

“Can you imagine the psychological issues these three babies are going to have for the rest of their lives, seeing their father shot these many times in the back from the people who were supposed to protect and serve him?” Crump asked.

Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers responded to the incident, saying, “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.”

Lieutenant Governor Mandela Barnes added, “The irony is not lost on me that Jacob Blake was actually trying to deescalate a situation in his community, but the responding officer didn’t feel the need to do the same.”

As the videos surfaced the internet, crowds erupted throughout the state and on the intersection where Blake was shot to demand justice for Jacob Blake and an end to police brutality, the same demands made when George Floyd and Breonna Taylor were killed earlier this summer.

Police officers in riot gear arrived armed at the scene with rubber bullets and tear gas as tensions escalated. Shortly afterward, the city of Kenosha declared a state of emergency and enforced an overnight curfew.

On Monday afternoon, Kenosha city officials and the governor requested for the deployment of the Wisconsin National Guard to support the needs of first responders and law enforcement “to protect critical infrastructure.” Another curfew was ordered for the night beginning at 8 p.m.

The police union representing the officers urged the public to withhold judgment until the state Justice Department completes its investigation. The findings of the investigation will be given to District Attorney Michael D. Graveley and his office will determine whether to bring charges against the officers.

“As always, the video currently circulating does not capture all the intricacies of a highly dynamic incident,” said Pete Deates, president of the Kenosha Professional Police Association.

Deates also condemned Evers’ statement, calling it “wholly irresponsible and not reflective of the hardworking members of the law enforcement community.”

Jeffrey Robinson, a deputy legal director with the American Civil Liberties Union, also responded to the shooting, condemning police behavior.

“With each of the seven shots fired, the police department made their intent clear,” Robinson said, “they believed they had the right to kill an unarmed Black man for the crime of walking away from them.”

Gov. Evers called for a special legislative session to ask lawmakers to consider a bill to increase accountability and transparency in policing and address appropriate use of force and ban dangerous policing.

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About The Author

The Vanguard Court Watch operates in Yolo, Sacramento and Sacramento Counties with a mission to monitor and report on court cases. Anyone interested in interning at the Courthouse or volunteering to monitor cases should contact the Vanguard at info(at)davisvanguard(dot)org - please email info(at)davisvanguard(dot)org if you find inaccuracies in this report.

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4 Comments

  1. Alan Miller

    This doesn’t make any sense.  As presented in every news report I’ve read, there is no ‘other side of the story’.  He was simply gunned down for walking away and checking on his kids.  If so, this is worse than George Floyd, it’s a cold-blooded execution.  Are we really getting all the facts at this point? I read the entire GF tape has been released, with many legal experts saying with the additional footage, there will be no conviction of murder.  Not saying I agree and I haven’t watched it yet as it is a bit long, and no one said there will be no charges as the officer who killed him didn’t follow procedure.  But so often, more comes out later.  I wonder if more will come out on this that changes the narrative?  I’ve also noted this weird internet thing where if there is an incident, someone nearby or in the family gets on and videos the event and gives a running narrative of what lead up to the incident – so their side, real or trumped-up, gets around the world seven times before any counterpoint is released – often the police agency cannot give the police side before there has been at least a preliminary investigation.  Not saying that police don’t cover up or protect each other — that clearly does happen.  Just saying there may be more to this.

      1. Ross Peabody

        Or when a white kid with an AK shoots people protesting an unarmed black man getting shot in the back and basically fist bumps the cops as he leaves the scene.  Please.  🙄

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