- Kenosha, Wisconsin faced riots throughout the night after a police officer was seen on video shooting 29-year-old Jacob Blake in the back seven times
- The shooting occurred on Sunday evening after officers responded to a domestic incident on the 2800 block of 40th Street
- Blake was taken to Froedtert Hospital, Milwaukee via Flight for Life and was said to be in serious but stable condition
Rioting broke out in Kenosha, Wisconsin following the shooting of 29-year-old Jacob Blake. Video of the shooting was shared on social media where it quickly went viral and caused outrage in the community.
According to the Kenosha Police Department, officers responded to a domestic incident at 5:11 pm on Sunday on the 2800 block of 40th Street. Witnesses told Kenosha News Blake was trying to break up a fight between two women. Police then attempted to use a taser on Blake before the shooting occurred.
The shooting appears to have been first shared on Facebook by Telicia Phillips. Phillips posted four short videos that showed the shooting and then the aftermath. Her post was shared over 19,000 times in just six hours.
In the first video, Blake is seen walking around his vehicle as two officers follow behind him with guns drawn. Blake opens the driver’s side door and begins to get in as an officer is seen pulling on his shirt from behind. The officer then opened fire, firing seven rounds into Blake from behind. The other three videos show emergency workers attempting to treat Blake’s wounds.
All four videos can be seen below. Warning, the content is graphic and may not be suitable for all audiences.
Contrary to rumors on social media claiming he was killed, Blake survived the shooting. He was transported to Froedtert Hospital, Milwaukee via Flight for Life and said to be in serious but stable condition. Attorney Ben Crump confirmed via Twitter a rumor that Blake’s three children were in the vehicle at the time of the shooting.
Confirmed: 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!! #JusticeForJacobBlake— Ben Crump (@AttorneyCrump) August 24, 2020
According to the Wisconsin Circuit Court Access, a warrant was issued for Blake’s arrest on July 7 for criminal trespass to dwelling with domestic abuse as a modifier; 3rd-degree sexual assault with domestic abuse as a modifier; and disorderly conduct with domestic abuse as a modifier. The address listed on the warrant appears to be the same address that officers responded to Sunday night.
In 2015, the Racine County Eye reported that a police K9 named Dozer assisted officers in arresting Blake for one felony count of resisting arrest causing a soft tissue injury to a police officer, misdemeanor counts of carrying a concealed weapon, carrying a firearm while intoxicated, endangering safety-use of a dangerous weapon, and disorderly conduct.
According to the criminal complaint, Blake was at the Brass Monkey Tavern with two women when he got into an argument with another customer. Blake pulled a handgun and pointed it at the man at which point the magazine fell to the floor. The bartender told Blake to leave, which he did, but he then pointed the gun through the window at bar patrons.
Police encountered one of the women Blake was with on Junction Avenue. She told officers Blake had left in a silver SUV. Shortly after, officers were advised a male matching Blake’s description was driving on Junction Avenue in a silver SUV. Officers ended up conducting a high-risk traffic stop on the 1200 block of Racine Avenue.
Police ordered Blake to put his hands out the window of the vehicle, but he did not listen and instead exited the vehicle and began approaching officers. After Blake ignored officer commands he was forced to the ground. When Blake refused to put his hands behind his back, K9 Dozer was deployed. Blake would later submit to a legal blood draw to determine his level of intoxication. His blood level was reportedly .144. It is not clear what happened with that case.
As usual with police shootings, some have pointed to Blake’s past as an excuse for Sunday’s shooting. Despite the attempts to justify the shootings, riots broke out in the Kenosha area. At one point the courthouse was lit on fire and businesses had windows broke out. Mercado Media livestreamed the scene as an entire car lot burned, which almost spread to a neighboring church but firefighters managed to prevent it from spreading. At least one other business was lit on fire and multiple businesses were damaged and looted.
Before the riot began, Governor Tony Evers released a statement on Sunday night condemning the shooting. “While we do not have all 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’ full statement can be read below.
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.Governor Tony Evers
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.
I have said all along that although we must offer our empathy, equally important is our action. 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.