Kenosha, WI — An investigation is now underway after police officers with the Kenosha police department opened fire on an unarmed man in front of his children. That man, Jacob Blake, is now in critical condition, fighting for his life.
According to authorities, police were responding to a domestic incident Sunday afternoon. How exactly Blake was involved or what happened to spark the call is unclear. However, video from a bystander’s cell phone captured the scene that unfolded next.
As the video shows, Blake appears on the passenger’s side of the vehicle as two officers pull their pistols. As he walks from the passenger’s side to the driver’s side, the officers follow him.
When Blake gets to the driver’s side, he opens the door of the vehicle and tries to get in. At this point, one of the officers is seen grabbing him by the t-shirt while pointing his pistol at his back, at point blank range. The officer then puts the gun to Blake’s back as he holds on to the man’s T-shirt before opening fire. At least seven gunshots can be heard.
Blake appears to go limp in the vehicle, and falls onto the the car’s horn which starts blaring.
Though police didn’t identify the father, Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers released a statement shortly after the shooting, identifying Blake and noting that he’d been critically injured.
“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.
Police released very few details about the shooting, stating that an officer involved shooting happened when they were responding to a domestic incident in the 2800 block of 40th Street at 5:11 p.m. According to police, officers immediately began to render aid to Blake and he was transported via Flight for Life to Froedtert Hospital, Milwaukee, in serious condition.
According to CNN, after the shooting, the Kenosha Police requested the Kenosha Sheriff’s Department and Wisconsin State Patrol so that the scene could be turned over to an agency other than Kenosha Police, the statement said. The Wisconsin Department of Justice’s Division of Criminal Investigation will investigate this shooting.
Attorney Ben Crump took to Twitter Sunday night and confirmed that Blake’s three sons were in the vehicle and watched as police opened fire on their father.
Jacob Blake’s 3 SONS were IN THE CAR he was getting into when@KenoshaPolice shot him tonight. 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!!
Around 2:00 a.m. CST a friend of Blake’s tweeted that Blake had made it out of surgery and is in ICU and urged people — who have already take to the streets to protest Blake’s shoot, to remain peaceful.
Jacob is out of surgery and In ICU. We will continue to pray as he fights. We will not excuse the actions of the Kenosha Police department, but his mother asks everyone to please remain peaceful.
As you watch the video below, take note that officers had ample time to taser Blake, tackle him, or do anything else other than shoot him in the back. Yes, Blake should’ve complied, but whatever he did most assuredly did not deserve a death sentence.
Wow. This Black man was shot several times in the back by @KenoshaPolice today. He was getting into his car after apparently breaking up a fight between two women. He’s in critical condition now. We demand JUSTICE! #BlackLivesMatter pic.twitter.com/I1reDEp4nw
— Ben Crump (@AttorneyCrump) August 24, 2020