The shooting of Jacob Blake, a Black Wisconsin man, by a White police officer, has been making headlines this week. On Sunday, Blake was shot seven times in the back by a Kenosha, Wisconsin cop. Footage of the incident, captured by witnesses, showed two officers following Blake to his SUV with their guns drawn. As he attempted to enter, one of the officers grabbed his shirt, and then opened fire.
Blake was taken to the hospital and listed as being in critical condition. After undergoing surgery, he was downgraded to a "stable" condition but has remained in the ICU. The two officers involved in the shooting were placed on administrative leave.
Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers tweeted about the shooting: "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. We stand against excessive use of force and immediate escalation when engaging with Black Wisconsinites." Scroll down to learn more about Jacob Blake, as well as the circumstances and aftermath of his shooting.
Events Leading Up To Shooting
Eyewitnesses have said that Blake had been attempting to break up a fight when police arrived on the scene. It was also reported that at least one of the officers shot Blake with a taser, before shooting him with a department-issued firearm. Additionally, Blake's three children were in the vehicle when he was shot, and witnessed the incident. Family members have said that the event, understandably, traumatized the young kids.prevnext
The shooting investigation has been turned over to the Wisconsin Department of Justice. CBS News reports that the FBI is also assisting with the investigation. Notably, the investigation may take some time, as Kenosha officers are not fitted with bodycams, per the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. The outlet noted that it is unclear if the police vehicle dashcams will play a roll in the investigation.prevnext
Blake's Medical Condition
After Blake was revealed to be in stable condition, doctors explained that he is likely paralyzed from the waist down and that he is "struggling to sustain his life." Blake's family attorney Benjamin Crump — who also represents the family of George Floyd — stated, "The medical diagnosis right now is that he is paralyzed and because those bullets severed his spinal cord and shattered some of his vertebrae… it is going to take a miracle for Jacob Blake Jr. to ever walk again."prevnext
Blake's Medical Condition (cont.)
Crump went on to say, as of Wednesday morning, "He is currently in surgery as we speak, still struggling to sustain his life and to hopefully become some resemblance of the man he once was." Attorney Patrick Salvi spoke to Blake's injuries, in detail, telling journalists that one of the bullets tore through his spinal cord. Bullets also left holes in Blake's stomach, and caused damage to his liver and kidney. Blake also had to have "nearly his entire colon and small intestine" removed, due to his injuries.prevnext
Following Blake's shooting, many people took to the streets to protest police brutality and show their support for the Black Lives Matter movement. The protests have led to police firing tear gas at the demonstrators, as well as Gov. Evers — openly condemned Blake's shooting — calling in 125-250 National Guard soldiers to help with crowds that turned to riot. Many cities have mandated curfews, with the Kenosha County Sheriff's Department instituting an 8 p.m. curfew for a third night.prevnext
Blake's Uncle Statements
Blake's uncle, Justin Blake, spoke to CNN and told the outlet the video of his nephew being shot "literally took [his] breath away."
"You're looking at somebody you know, love, trust and respect and are proud of, but you can't help them. You sort of have to remove yourself in order to maintain your sanity." Justin added, "Thank God he's alive. We're just praying for a great recovery, that he may have a great quality of life and that his father, my brother can enjoy him," Justin said. ""We want justice and we're going to get justice. We're going to demand justice, but we're going to do that without tearing up our own communities."prevnext
Blake's Sister Statements0comments
One of Blake's sisters, Letetra Widman, delivered a powerful speech on Tuesday, speaking not only on behalf of her brother but on behalf of the many Black Americans who have been killed by police.
"So many people have reached out to me saying they're sorry that this has been happening to my family. Well don't be sorry because this has been happening to my family for a long time, longer than I can account for," Widman said. "It happened to Emmett Till, Emmett Till is my family. It happened to Philando, Mike Brown, Sandra." She added, "I don't want your pity. I want change."prev