The latest victim is Jacob Blake, 29, who was shot point-blank in the back in front of his young children several times in Kenosha, Wisconsin on Sunday while supposedly attempting to break up a verbal fight between two women.
WARNING: Police fire several shots at point blank range towards the back of an unarmed Black man walking away and into a car in #Kenosha Wisconsin. Neighbors report that he was trying to break up a fight between 2 women. Why the use of lethal force? pic.twitter.com/Y0RWQ1y9Jn
— Kristen Clarke (@KristenClarkeJD) August 24, 2020
Witnesses reported police followed Blake to his car and fired seven shots after he opened the driver-side door.
According to civil rights attorney Ben Crump, Blake’s children were in the car.
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
A Wisconsin police officer yesterday shot Jacob Blake 7 times in the back. His 3 children were in the car, watching their father being shot.
This is America.
On August 28th, we will be marching against police brutality in Washington, DC, demanding justice. pic.twitter.com/ibrPD66Y1t
— Martin Luther King III (@OfficialMLK3) August 24, 2020
Although he survived the attack, Blake is now paralyzed from the waist down.
On Sunday, Wisconsin’s governor, Tony Evers, issued the following statement:
“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.”
Lieutenant Governor Mandela Barnes stated:
“This was not an accident. This wasn’t bad police work. This felt like some sort of vendetta being taken out on a member of our community. The officer’s daily actions attempted to take a person’s life in broad daylight. And like many of you, the video is etched into my mind, like so many other past videos that are just like it. It was a video that I would have rather not had to have watched. But the irony isn’t lost on me. That is, Jacob Blake was actually trying to de-escalate a situation in his community, but the responding officer didn’t feel the need to do the same.”
But, as has been playing out all over the country, law enforcement escalated matters with tear gas, riot gear, and rubber munitions.
Officers deployed tear gas in effort to disperse hundreds of people who took to the streets following police shooting in Kenosha after video appeared to show officers shoot at a Black man seven times as he leaned into a vehicle. https://t.co/Q3Fo0flhCE pic.twitter.com/XgDX8Wu9gz
— ABC News (@ABC) August 24, 2020
“This morning, the nation wakes up yet again with grief and outrage that yet another black American is a victim of excessive force. Those shots pierce the soul of our nation.”
“Equal justice has not been real for Black Americans and so many others. We are at an inflection point. We must dismantle systemic racism. It is the urgent task before us.”
With five percent of the population, the U.S. nonetheless incarcerates 25 percent (1.5 million) of the world’s prisoners, most of whom are minorities.
Gov. Evers said:
“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.”
Are police reforms finally forthcoming?
Will Jacob Blake’s family receive the justice denied countless African Americans for centuries?
Or is this just more reactionary rhetoric at a time when we are experiencing the worst civil unrest in 50 years?
We have just added another name to the expanding list of Black Americans fallen victim to racist police violence.