Video of unarmed man shot in the back by police prompts protests in Wisconsin

Video of police shooting a man in Kenosha, Wisconsin, has circulated widely on social media, leading to an evening of unrest and a promise for a full investigation from Wisconsin’s governor.

Police shot Jacob Blake just after 5 p.m. Sunday night. His fiancé identified him for our sister station, WISN. Police said they were called to the area for a domestic incident, but Blake’s fiancé said she never called police and didn’t know why they responded.

The video shows Blake walking to a vehicle while police had their guns drawn on him. In it, at least seven shots can be heard.

As he opened the driver’s side door and leaned inside, one officer grabbed his shirt from behind and then fired into the vehicle.

Blake is in serious condition in a Wisconsin hospital. WISN asked Blake’s fiancé if he had a weapon on him or in his vehicle and she said he did not own any guns and was not armed.

After the shooting, a large crowd gathered at the scene, prompting Kenosha County to declare a state of emergency curfew until Monday morning.

“The public needs to be off the streets for their safety,” the Kenosha County Sheriff’s Department said.

Neighbors confronted law enforcement at the scene and prompted crowds to march in the streets.

Some could be heard chanting, “No justice, no peace.”

Marchers headed to the Kenosha County Public Safety Building, which authorities had mostly blocked off.

Outside the station, protesters faced off with officers who were dressed in riot gear that included plastic face masks and held plastic shields and batons that they occasionally used to push people back.

Several garbage trucks were set ablaze.

Protesters also spray painted on the Kenosha County Courthouse, where a fire was also started on the ground floor.

“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,” Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers said. “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 has been called in to conduct an investigation.

They have not said how many officers shot the suspect.

“DCI is continuing to review evidence and determine the facts of this incident and will turn over investigative reports to a prosecutor following a complete and thorough investigation.” the agency said.

“I have said all along that although we must offer our empathy, equally important is our action,” Evers said. “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.”

The attorney for George Floyd and Joel Acevedo’s families tweeted about Blake’s shooting.

“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!!”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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