Another tragic police shooting of a Black man has sparked outcry across the nation. Jacob Blake, age 29, was shot multiple times in front of his children in a police shooting on August 23.
In a video circulating on social media that allegedly captured the shooting, Blake is seen walking from the passenger side of a car around to the driver’s side, while officers aim their weapons at him. After Blake opens the door of the vehicle and leans in, an officer pulls him backwards and multiple shots are fired. Blake, who survived the shooting, is currently in critical condition.
According to a statement released by the Kenosha Police Department, officers were responding to a “reported domestic incident” in the area before shooting Blake, and “the involved officers have been placed on administrative leave.” Unverified reports on social media suggest that Blake had broken up a fight between two women prior to being shot.
Attorney Ben Crump, who says he is representing the family, said that Blake’s three sons were in the car and witnessed the shooting. “We cannot let officers violate their duty to PROTECT us,” he wrote. “Our kids deserve better!”
“Tonight, Jacob Blake was shot in the back multiple times, in broad daylight, in Kenosha, Wisconsin,” Wisconsin governor Tony Evers said in a statement. “Kathy and I join his family, friends, and neighbors in hoping earnestly that he will not succumb to his injuries. 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’s statement named other lives lost to police shootings. “We stand with all those who have and continue to demand justice, equity, and accountability for Black lives in our country—lives like those of George Floyd, of Breonna Taylor, Tony Robinson, Dontre Hamilton, Ernest Lacy, and Sylville Smith,” the statement said. “And we stand against excessive use of force and immediate escalation when engaging with Black Wisconsinites.”
The shooting has sparked protests in Kenosha and across Wisconsin. According to the New York Times, protests began as peaceful marches but resulted in fires and looting.
Blake's father, Jacob Blake, Sr., told the Chicago Sun-Times that his son is a family-oriented person with six young children between the ages of three and 13. On the day of the shooting, he was allegedly gearing up to celebrate one son's eighth birthday. “If you were in need of something and my son had it, he would not hesitate to give it to you,” he said. “He’s a very giving individual.”
Blake Sr. said that the shooting left his son with “eight holes" in his body and that he's currently paralyzed from the waist down—doctors don't yet know if the injury is temporary.
In a statement released on August 24, Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden spoke of the nation's “grief and outrage that yet another Black American is a victim of excessive force.” He called for an “immediate, full and transparent investigation," adding: “Equal justice has not been real for Black Americans and so many others. We are at an inflection point. We must dismantle systemic racism. It is the urgent task before us. We must fight to honor the ideals laid in the original American promise, which we are yet to attain: That all men and women are created equal, but more importantly that they must be treated equally.”
On August 26, Blake's sisters spoke to reporters about their brother. Zietha Blake described him as a family man: “His kids are his world. But not only that, his family is his world.”
Another sister, Letetra Widman, shared her anger and frustration.
“So many people have reached out to me saying they're sorry that this has been happening to my family,” she said. "Well, don't be sorry because this has been happening to my family for a long time, longer than I can account for. It happened to Emmett Till, Emmett Till is my family. It happened to Philando, Mike Brown, Sandra."
"I don't want your pity," Widman said. "I want change."
This is a developing story. It will be updated as more information becomes available.
Originally Appeared on Glamour