• Mon. Jan 18th, 2021

Protesters return to the streets in Kenosha, where Black man was shot in back

Protesters took to the streets again Monday in Kenosha, Wisconsin, one day after a police officer shot a Black man multiple times in the back and hours after Gov. Tony Evers authorized the National Guard to help local law enforcement respond to the protests.

The announcement earlier Monday from Evers came after dump trucks were set on fire in a surge of anger that followed the shooting of Jacob Blake, 29. The mayor said a police officer was struck with a brick but had recovered.

Aug. 24, 202002:09

Blake’s shooting was captured on cellphone video by a bystander and posted to social media Sunday afternoon. The clip, which was shot from across the street, showed an officer, who has not been identified, following Blake as he marches to the driver’s side door of an SUV.

As Blake gets into the car, the officer, whose gun was drawn, grabs his shirt from behind and opens fire.

Blake’s family has said that he is out of surgery and in serious, but stable, condition.

It isn’t clear what happened before the clip began. A lawyer for Blake’s family, Ben Crump, said in a statement that Blake was helping to “de-escalate a domestic incident” when police used a stun gun on him. As he walked around his car to check on his three sons, who were inside, the officer shot him at point-blank range.

The police department in Kenosha, a city of roughly 100,000 mid-way between Chicago and Milwaukee, said in a statement Sunday that the shooting happened after police responded to a “domestic incident.”

The officers involved in the encounter were placed on administrative leave while the Wisconsin Department of Justice and the local district attorney’s office investigates.

Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul declined to say Monday whether Blake was armed when the officer opened fire.

“We won’t comment in a way that will impact the integrity of the investigation,” he said.

The police department forwarded a request for comment to the state Department of Justice. In a statement Monday, the Milwaukee Police Association said that while video “may show some troubling things, protesting must remain calm. It must remain peaceful.”

The statement urged officials not to comment on the incident or rush to judgment.

“By rushing to judgement, without knowing all of the facts, this will only fuel the cause of others to protest in a manner that isn’t peaceful,” the association said.

A curfew that was imposed on the city Sunday will remain in effect Monday, beginning at 8 p.m. and lasting until 7 a.m. Evers said in a statement that the National Guard troops would help protect critical infrastructure and ensure that “Kenoshians are able to assemble safely.”

Images posted on social media Monday night showed what appeared to be hundreds of protesters outside the Kenosha County courthouse. “Justice for Jacob,” they could be heard chanting. More than a dozen officers in tactical gear surrounded the courthouse entrance.

In New York City, hundreds of protesters also gathered in Times Square in support of Blake.

Blake’s shooting comes three months after the killing of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer. Floyd’s death, which was also captured on video, sparked months of protests over racial justice and police violence.