Jacob Blake, 29, remains hospitalized and in critical condition after he was shot multiple times by a Kenosha Police officer responding to a domestic incident.
Blake, who was unarmed, was shot seven times on Sunday, Aug. 23. A video shared on social media shows Blake walking toward his car and opening the vehicle door as an officer follows him, grabbing and pulling on his shirt before shooting him several times. Blake was airlifted to a Milwaukee hospital and the officers involved have been placed on administrative leave.
Multiple witnesses have said that Blake was not a part of the altercation that prompted the police to respond, and that he was instead attempting to de-escalate a fight between two women. Although false reports circulated stating that Blake had succumbed to his injuries, his family clarified on social media that he was still alive and fighting for his life. According to a post by activist Shaun King, Blake’s father confirmed the news via social media.
Civil Rights attorney Ben Crump said Blake’s three young sons were in the car when he was shot.
“They saw a cop shoot their father. They will be traumatized forever,” Crump said. “We cannot let officers violate their duty to PROTECT us. Our kids deserve better!!”
Protests erupted in Kenosha on the night of the shooting and 100 people gathered outside of the Kenosha County Public Safety Building, chanting “no justice, no peace” at around 10:15 p.m. Officers in riot gear used batons and tear gas to keep the crowd at bay.
Multiple vehicles were set on fire, and city dump trucks went up in flames. Kenosha County declared a state of emergency remained in effect until 7 a.m. Monday morning.
Gov. Tony Evers released a statement on the shooting, saying: “We stand with all those who have and continue to demand justice, equity, and accountability for Black lives in our country—lives like those of George Floyd, of Breonna Taylor, Tony Robinson, Dontre Hamilton, Ernest Lacy, and Sylville Smith. And we stand against excessive use of force and immediate escalation when engaging with Black Wisconsinites.”
The Wisconsin Department of Justice said on Monday morning that it will be investigating the incident. The state’s Division of Criminal Investigation said that it would “provide a report of the incident to the prosecutor within 30 days.” The statement did not specify why Blake was confronted or identify the officers involved.