The National Guard was deployed to Kenosha, Wisconsin on Monday (August 24) after the police shooting of Jacob Blake in front of three of his children.
Kenosha News reports that the request was made after protests erupted in the city on Sunday night, following the release of a video of Blake being shot seven times in the back after he walked away from police officers. Blake had reportedly been trying to break up a fight between two women when police officers were called to the scene.
The graphic video showing Kenosha police officers shooting Blake in the back immediately went viral on social media.
In the aftermath of the shooting of the unarmed Black father, protestors took the streets. The Kenosha County Courthouse was reportedly set ablaze, as were garbage trucks in the area. The Kenosha Administrative Building was vandalized, and a car dealership across the street from the courthouse was set on fire.
In protests earlier this year, following the death of George Floyd, white agitators were discovered to be inciting violence and damaging property, while most Black Lives Matter protestors remained non-violent. It's not yet known who is behind the arson and property destruction in Kenosha on Sunday night.
Kenosha County Emergency Management Director Lt. Horace Staples said the declaration of a State of Emergency at 11 p.m. Sunday started the process of activating the National Guard. “They have been deployed,” Staples confirmed.
Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers released a statement hours after the incident in solidarity with Black Lives Matter community.
"Jacob Blake was shot in the back multiple times, in broad daylight, in Kenosha. Kathy and I join his family, friends and neighbors in hoping earnestly that he will not succumb to his injuries,” Evers says opening up his statement. “While we do not have all the details yet, what we know for certain is 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 in our country.”
A viral video that made its way to social media showed Blake walking away from officers, heading towards his vehicle as officers had their guns drawn on him. That nearly fatal move almost cost him his life as officers began shooting at Blake multiple times as soon as he entered the car. It is being reported that the officers were not wearing body cameras at the time of the incident.
Blake was taken to a Milwaukee-area hospital where it is reported that he is in serious condition.
Wow. This Black man was shot several times in the back by @KenoshaPolice today. He was getting into his car after apparently breaking up a fight between two women. He’s in critical condition now. We demand JUSTICE! #BlackLivesMatter pic.twitter.com/I1reDEp4nw— Ben Crump (@AttorneyCrump) August 24, 2020
The officers who shot Blake have been placed on administrative leave.
Prominent civil rights attorney Ben Crump announced that he will be representing Jacob Blake and his family.
BET has been covering every angle of the police killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Rayshard Brooks and other social justice cases and the subsequent aftermath and protests. For our continuing coverage, click here.
Photo: Sean Krajacic/Kenosha News via AP
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