Wisconsin state authorities are investigating why a police officer shot Jacob Blake, a Black man, in front of his family in Kenosha on Sunday night. Two officers have been put on leave following the shooting, according to a report by CNN. Blake remains in serious condition and is fighting for his life.
The police shooting of Blake took over social media from Sunday night into Monday morning, after his family's civil rights attorney, Ben Crump, posted a video of the encounter. The highly graphic footage shows Blake getting into the driver's seat of an SUV when police shot him in the back, though he did not seem to be threatening them or anyone else. The attack led to protests throughout the state throughout Sunday night.
The police were reportedly responding to a call about a domestic disturbance when they shot Blake, at around 5:11 p.m. local time. The details are still thin, but Blake appeared to be unarmed and walking away from the police as they followed with weapons raised. Although the police caught up with Blake easily, instead of detaining him, they fired seven shots into his back while holding onto his tank top.
After Blake went limp in the video, a car horn blared, suggesting that he fell onto it in the SUV. A woman approached and began wailing, jumping up and down in front of the officers. The clip was filmed by a neighbor across the street, Raysean White. He told reporters that he saw Blake put one of his children into the car before he started recording.
"The police want everybody to know they're out here to protect and serve, but you guys are constantly giving us — Black people, in particular — reasons not to let you guys protect and serve," 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 that."
The shooting came as Black Lives Matter protests continue around the U.S., consisting mostly of peaceful calls for police reform or police abolition. On Sunday, those protests hit hard in Kenosha — a city of about 100,000 people on the coast of Lake Michigan. Demonstrators flooded the streets to demand justice for the shooting of Blake, leading local authorities to institute a curfew.
Crump is representing Blake and his family, though it is not clear yet what kind of case they intend to pursue against the city or the police department. Crump is a well-known civil rights attorney who has handled other prominent cases, including that of George Floyd.