Video shows Wisconsin police shooting a Black man multiple times as he enters a car

Protesters confront Kenosha County sheriff's deputies outside the Kenosha Police Department in Kenosha, Wisconsin, on Sunday, Aug. 23, 2020. Mike De Sisti / Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel via AP

The video starts as Jacob Blake rounds the front of a silver SUV on Sunday, with two Kenosha, Wis., police officers following close behind, their guns drawn. When Blake opens the door and steps inside, the officers suddenly fire repeatedly toward his back – at least seven times.

Blake is now in serious condition, the officers have been placed on leave, and the city of Kenosha declared an emergency curfew after destructive protests rocked the city into early Monday morning. It’s the latest case of police violence caught on camera in a summer overwhelmed by escalating rounds of protests following George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis.


Wisconsin Democratic Gov. Tony Evers called for greater police accountability as the video spread rapidly through social media.

“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 a statement. “We stand with all those who have and continue to demand justice, equity, and accountability for Black lives in our country.”

The shooting happened after 5 p.m., when officers responded to a domestic incident, police said. Witnesses told the Kenosha News that Blake was trying to break up a fight and that police first attempted to taser him.

The video shows neighbors congregated outside as two police officers with their guns drawn followed Blake as he approached the car. As Blake opened the driver’s side door, on officer can be seen tugging at Blake’s white tank top before multiple shots ring out from the police.

Kenosha News reported that Blake was shot in front of his children. Ben Crump, a civil rights attorney, posted on Twitter that Blake’s three sons were inside the car.


Police have not commented on what led to the shooting. Blake was taken by helicopter to Froedtert Hospital in Milwaukee, police said. Early Monday morning, TMJ4 reported that Blake’s brother said he is out of surgery and in intensive care.

The Wisconsin Department of Justice will investigate the shooting, police said.

As footage of Blake’s shooting spread on social media, a crowd gathered at the intersection where he was shot. Tensions quickly rose as more police officers arrived wearing riot gear and several police cars were damaged. A video shows one police officer being hit with a brick and collapsing to the ground.

The group eventually moved away from the intersection. A live stream of a march through Kenosha showed hundreds eventually congregating and chanting outside the Kenosha County Public Safety Building after 10 p.m.

Shortly afterward, the city declared a state of emergency and instituted a curfew until 7 a.m. Monday. A public safety alert suggested that 24-hour businesses close “due to numerous arm robberies and shots fired calls.”

Police soon arrived with riot gear and armed with rubber bullets, and eventually sprayed tear gas at the crowd. Some protesters targeted garbage trucks that had been parked to block traffic, shattering the truck’s windows and setting them ablaze.


After midnight, the crowds moved toward the courthouse and someone set a fire outside the building, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported. Police put out the fire and launched more tear gas. Another live stream recorded people breaking into a nearby government building and shattering the glass doors and windows from the inside.

Just past 1 a.m., police requested that protesters leave the area, the Journal Sentinel reported, before shooting more tear gas. About 20 minutes later, police formed a riot line and moved people out of the park.

After 2 a.m., someone set fire to a car outside a dealership. By 2:40 a.m. black smoke billowed toward the sky as car after car burst into flames. An hour later, the fire continued to spread, threatening to burn a church behind the dealership.

Video of Blake’s shooting ignited widespread outrage and inspired a smaller protests in Madison. Julián Castro, the former San Antonio mayor and Democratic presidential candidate, questioned whether the police had considered “nonlethal methods.”

“Why didn’t officers physically restrain him? Or use their tasers? Or disable the vehicle?,” Castro added.

“Our lives have so little value that ofcrs are using fatal gunshots as a shortcut to talking, negotiation, disabling vehicles,” Sherrilyn Ifill, president and director-counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, tweeted. “It’s shorter; the ofcr doesn’t have to get physically involved; and the result is guaranteed.”

Bernice King, Martin Luther King Jr.’s daughter and the chief executive of the King Center, said on Twitter she was dismayed to see another video of a Black person being “brutalized and/or gunned down by police.”


“Anybody who doesn’t believe we are beyond a state of emergency is choosing to lack empathy and awareness,” King said.

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