An African American man is fighting for his life after he was shot at least seven times by a police officer with the Kenosha Police Department in Wisconsin Sunday afternoon as the man’s children watched from inside the car.
A graphic video posted on social media shows the man walking around an SUV as police yell at him with weapons drawn, with one officer closely following him. As the man opens the driver-side door of the vehicle, the officer grabs the back of the man’s shirt and fires several shots into the man’s back. At least seven shots are heard in the video, but it was unclear how many officers fired.
The man was transported to the hospital in serious condition, according to police. His father said on Facebook that his son is still alive.
After the video went viral on social media, a large crowd of protesters gathered in Kenosha, Wisconsin, on Sunday. Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers identified the victim as Jacob Blake. Evers said Blake was critically injured when he was shot multiple times.
“Tonight, Jacob Blake was shot in the back multiple times, in broad daylight, in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Kathy and I join his family, friends, and neighbors in hoping earnestly that he will not succumb to his injuries. 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 in our state or our country,” Evers said in his statement.
The county declared a state of emergency overnight curfew, according to several reports.
The Wisconsin Department of Justice’s Division of Criminal Investigation will investigate this shooting.
Attorney Benjamin Crump told reporters that Blake’s family reached out to him for assistance. 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. We cannot let officers violate their duty to PROTECT us. Our kids deserve better!!” Crump said in a post on Twitter.
There was no word of any arrests. A petition on Change.org calling for the officers to be charged quickly gathered almost 13,000 signatures overnight.
Kenosha is on Lake Michigan, some 40 miles south of Milwaukee.
⚠️GRAPHIC CONTENT WARNING⚠️
An unarmed black man in Wisconsin is shot in the back 7 TIMES, in front of his kids, after breaking up a fight.
— Ryan Chase (@GunReformRyan) August 24, 2020