Protests Erupt In Kenosha, Wisconsin Following Shooting Of Jacob Blake
On Monday night, protesters in Kenosha, Wisconsin ignored an 8 p.m. curfew ordered by the authorities and took to the streets to demand justice for Jacob Blake, a Black man who was shot multiple times in the back by local officers.
According to CNN, amid the protests, several businesses and cars were set ablaze late Monday. Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers, who was vocal in decrying Blake’s shooting noted that National Guard members would be responding to the city to help “protect critical infrastructure, such as utilities and fire stations and to ensure Kenoshians are able to assemble safely.”
Blake, who survived the shooting but remains in intensive care, is just the latest in a too-long list of Black individuals who were met with unnecessary police violence.
“If we don’t have the systematic reform that this moment in America is crying out for, then we are going to continue to see hashtag after hashtag, protest after protest, and cities burning all across America,” Blake’s attorney, Ben Crump told CNN.
The Wisconsin Department of Justice’s Division of Criminal Investigation is investigating the shooting, which Kenosha County District Attorney Michael Graveley said was in its “earliest stages.”
Once the investigation is complete, the district attorney’s office will review the case.
“We’re asked to make two determinations based on the evidence that is presented,” Graveley said. “One, did any officer, in this case, commit any crimes, and two, are there any crimes that we believe were committed that we can prove beyond a reasonable doubt?”
“If those two things are concluded as a yes, then criminal charges would be brought at the end of that process,” Graveley added.
The DA added that it is his hope that federal prosecutors will conduct a civil rights investigation into the case in order to “prosecute any alleged police misconduct.”
Blake, 29, was reportedly trying to break up a fight between two women when officers arrived. Raysean White who filmed part of the graphic altercation said that he heard the women arguing, and saw Blake arrive on the scene before walking into a home behind a woman.
White stepped away for a moment, according to CNN, and when he returned saw police grappling with Blake. He didn’t know what started the argument, but he began filming. He captured the moments in which Blake was walking away and attempting to get into his car as officers chased him, yelling at him with their guns drawn.
One officer grabbed on to Blake’s shirt, trying to stop him. As Blake attempted to enter his car, at least seven shots were heard. Two officers were placed on administrative leave, although it is not clear if both officers opened fire. Blake’s three young sons, ages 3, 5 and 8, were in the vehicle at the time of the shooting.
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