Wisconsin police shooting sets off protests, curfew
A police shooting of an unarmed black man in Kenosha, Wis., has stoked outrage in the latest instance of police indiscretion.
Kenosha police were called to a domestic incident on Sunday, Aug. 23, where Jacob Blake was trying to break up a verbal fight between two women, the Kenosha News reports. As Blake walked in front of a parked SUV, three officers were shouting and pointing their weapons at him.
When Blake opened a door and leaned inside, one officer grabbed his shirt and fired inside the vehicle, according to the Kenosha News. Blake’s three sons were in the vehicle, and he was reportedly unarmed. Officers then gave immediate aid to Blake, who was transported to a hospital in serious condition.
“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 tweeted on Sunday.
Multiple squad cars from the Kenosha Police, Kenosha County Sheriff’s Department and Wisconsin State Patrol arrived at the crime scene, according to the Kenosha News. As people confronted public safety officials at the crime scene, crowds grew and began marching in the street.
Several vehicles were set on fire and windows smashed by late Sunday, while protesters clashed with officers in riot gear, according to USA Today. Officers also dispersed crowds into early Monday using tear gas canisters .
Kenosha County, Wis., officials declared a state of emergency curfew of 8 p.m. for Sunday night that was extended through Tuesday, according to Milwaukee TV station WDJT.
Evers pledged action in his state as a response. ”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,” he tweeted on Sunday.
The Wisconsin Department of Justice is investigating the incident, according to USA Today.