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Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers slammed the “excessive use of force” by law enforcement and vowed there would be accountability after a police-involved shooting of a black man.
The Democratic governor issued a statement shortly after the incident in the city of Kenosha on Sunday which set off violent riots and prompted a curfew to be imposed. Police were responding to a domestic violence call about 5:11 p.m. before Jacob Blake was reportedly shot in the back and was airlifted to Froedtert Hospital in Milwaukee where he was in serious condition, according to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.
(Source: WGN News)
“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,” Evers said in a statement released Sunday.
Though complete details were not fully released about what transpired, the governor seemed to have already made up his mind, saying that “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.”
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 (@GovEvers) August 24, 2020
Video from the incident seemed to show an officer walking after Blake, who appeared unarmed, as he headed to a parked vehicle. The now-viral video showed Blake attempting to get in the driver’s side of the car when a police officer shot him, with reports indicating that at least seven gunshots were heard. A woman who was in the car was screaming as the shooting occurred.
Former 2020 Democrat presidential candidate Julian Castro retweeted a video that was apparently from the incident.
**WARNING: Images May Be Disturbing**
WARNING: this video is extremely graphic.
Police in Kenosha, Wisconsin appear to shoot a man seven times in the back at point blank range after he ignores commands. We’re no other non-lethal methods considered, @KenoshaPolice?
— Julián Castro (@JulianCastro) August 24, 2020
Neighbors reported that Blake had been trying to break up a fight between two women which prompted a call for police. Witnesses alleged that police used a Taser on Blake before he was shot several times, according to the Kenosha News. A police report stated that officers administered aid to Blake who was then airlifted to a hospital.
— pdtv (@PDTV3) August 24, 2020
Civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump tweeted that Blake’s three sons were in the car at the time.
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
The Wisconsin Department of Justice has reportedly begun an investigation of the incident.
“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 Division of Criminal Investigation said in a news release early Monday.
— Matt Smith (@mattsmith_news) August 24, 2020
“We stand with all those who have and continue to demand justice, equity, and accountability for Black lives in our country,” the governor said in his statement. “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,” Evers added, prompting some backlash.
He wouldn’t have gotten himself shot if he had just followed the cops’ basic and reasonable instructions. He looked like he was grabbing a weapon. A very stupid move. We know you would prefer that the police had been shot, Tony.
— Mark Dice (@MarkDice) August 24, 2020
As neighbors poured out onto the street after the shots were heard, more police officers arrived on the scene. Videos and reports showed angry people shouting at law enforcement. Protests soon broke out and people began attacking the parked police vehicles at the scene.
A protest is happening now after a domestic incident turned into an officer-involved shooting in #Kenosha at 40th St. & 28th Ave.
Police confirm one person is in serious condition.
— Kim Shine (@KimShineCBS58) August 24, 2020
Protesters reportedly marched to the Kenosha County Public Safety Building, fires were set and confrontations occurred between the demonstrators and police.
#BREAKING: Someone just threw some type of incendiary weapon that set multiple fires at scene @KenoshaPolice officer-involved shooting. Law enforcement have just shown up in riot gear & a military vehicle. #Kenosha @tmj4 pic.twitter.com/bFNnEA8RSo
— Lauren Linder (@lauren_linder) August 24, 2020
Black Lives Matter Terrorists set car dealership on fire in Kenosha. Church next door at risk. pic.twitter.com/7YKOTHRPHI
— Mark Dice (@MarkDice) August 24, 2020
The County of Kenosha declared a state of Emergency Curfew later that night, saying “the public needs to be off the streets for their safety.”
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