Police violence spotlight shifts to Kenosha, WI (photos)

Children see father shot in the back multiple times

Protests broke out in Kenosha and Madison, Wisconsin on Monday, August 24 demanding that police who shot Jacob Blake in Kenosha last Saturday be charged and prosecuted. A solidarity protest was held in Minneapolis on Monday as well.

Blake, who was shot at least seven times in the back by Kenosha police, is still hospitalized. His father, Jacob Blake (who shares the same name as his son), reported that his son is paralyzed from the waist down.

In a video that has gone viral, Blake is seen walking toward his car with police following closely behind. When he reaches the car, one officer grabs and pulls on his shirt. When Blake opens the door and leans inside, the police who are behind him fire their weapons as the officer continues holding his shirt.

Blake’s three children were in the car when the police opened fire.

Courtesy of Blake family Jacob Blake

While it has been reported that police were called to a domestic disturbance, it is unclear what led to the police confrontation with Blake, who witnesses say had broken up an argument between two women.

According to Raysean White, who recorded Blake’s shooting, the police had wrestled with Blake, punching him in the ribs and tasering him before White began filming what has now been viewed over 2.5 million times.

White, who was interviewed by CNN on Monday, said, “It’s disturbing to actually look out the window where I live and see this man get shot by the police seven times, but I’m pretty sure Jacob’s kids were more traumatized than anybody during the whole situation.”

White told CNN, “We don’t want you guys around because we are scared for our lives. You come to an incident to disarm an argument, and this Black man gets shot. It wasn’t supposed to go down like that.”

“Kenosha has a history of trying to do the right thing,” said Kenosha Mayor John Antaramian. He told a crowd of protestors, activists, and media on Tuesday morning that the state of Wisconsin is launching an investigation and the district attorney will decide if charges should be brought.

“You have to have due process for anyone,” he told the crowd, some of whom continuously interrupted his attempt to speak.

He seemed to chastise the crowd that was demanding the officers be fired, saying, “The damage done the other night is not acceptable.”

Unlike the mayor, Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers expressed concern about the shooting. “Tonight, Jacob Blake was shot in the back multiple times, in broad daylight, in Kenosha, Wisconsin. 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 his statement.

Several businesses were burned on Monday night, including a car dealership. Jim DeGrazio owns Treasures Within, a thrift store that was burned and sustained heavy damage. He told the Milwaukee Journal-Courier, “I’m just trying to figure out what we did to deserve this. I treat people well. It needs to stop.”

Madison, the Wisconsin state capitol, was the scene of peaceful protests and some property damage on Monday night. Several businesses had windows broken and fires were set in trash containers. Windows were also broken out of the Wisconsin State Capitol office of State Senator Howard Marklein (R-Spring Green).

Chris Juhn/MSR News Civil unrest left several buildings and cars burning in Kenosha and Madison, Wisconsin.

“There is absolutely no justification for the vandalism, destruction, rioting, and looting that look place at the state capitol, in the City of Madison or the City of Kenosha last night,” Marklein wrote in a Tuesday morning press release.

One building in Madison, the Manufacturers and Commerce office, had its windows smashed and was spray-painted with the words, “You have stolen more than we could ever loot.”

“The nonchalant manner in which officers shot Jacob Blake is reminiscent of the demeanor of Officer Chauvin as he snuffed out the life of George Floyd,” said Brock Satter of Boston Mass Action. “The common denominator is the smug sense that there will be no consequences for their actions. This is a human rights issue. Human beings have rights.

This [shooting] infringes on the most basic and essential one, which is the right to life.” Boston Mass Action is a Massachusetts-based anti-police-violence organization that is taking part in the March on Washington commemoration August 28 in Washington D.C. demanding that all of the cases of police violence—especially those resulting in death or serious injury—be reopened.

About Mel Reeves

Mel Reeves is the community editor at the Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder. He welcomes reader responses at mreeves@spokesman-recorder.com. Find his personal blog at fighthepowerjournal.com.

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