Jacob Blake reportedly paralyzed after police shooting in Kenosha, Wisconsin: What we know
Jacob Blake, a 29-year-old Black man who was shot at least seven times by police officers over the weekend, may never walk again, family and lawyers said Tuesday.
"The medical diagnosis right now is that he is paralyzed," attorney Ben Crump said in a press conference Tuesday. "It is going to take a miracle for Jacob Blake Jr. to ever walk again."
Blake was shot in the back multiple times Sunday by Kenosha Police Department officers responding to a domestic violence call, according to Crump, who is representing Blake’s family. Police have released little information about what led to the shooting and haven’t said why officers approached Blake.
Day 2 of protests: Wisconsin protesters rally for second night against 'shocking and outrageous' police shooting of Jacob Blake
Graphic video circulating on social media shows Blake walking toward a car, followed by an officer who has a weapon drawn.
Blake opens the car door and reaches into the vehicle, and an officer tugs on his shirt. At least seven gunshots can be heard, followed by a car horn. Two officers can be seen in the video near the car; it is unclear what happened before the video was recorded. Crump said Blake’s three sons were in the car when Blake was shot.
"They shot my son seven times. Seven times. Like he didn't matter," Jacob Blake Sr. said in the press conference. "But my son matters. He's a human being, and he matters."
The officers involved in the incident have been placed on administrative leave, according to the Wisconsin Department of Justice. The department is leading the investigation into the incident and said it aims to present a report within 30 days.
Here's what we know on Tuesday:
Fires, tear gas: National Guard deploys to Kenosha County
A large crowd gathered at the Kenosha courthouse Monday evening for the second day of protests, and members of law enforcement barricaded the area, according to local reports. Some Interstate 94 exit ramps in Kenosha County were closed, too.
Officers used tear gas to disperse protesters in front of the courthouse and protesters threw water bottles at officers in riot gear after the county's 8 p.m. curfew went into effect, according to reports from the scene.
By late Monday, a truck had been lit on fire, recreating a scene from Sunday's protests that saw city trucks on fire. The danger appeared to build deeper into the night: Several structures, including a Wisconsin Department of Corrections building, were set on fire in Kenosha. A local furniture store was also completely engulfed in flames.
The National Guard was deployed to Kenosha County on Monday "to help protect critical infrastructure and assist in maintaining public safety and the ability of individuals to peacefully protest," the Guard’s public affairs office said in a statement. State Gov. Tony Evers called the deployment a "limited mobilization" at the time.
The governor then increased the National Guard presence in Kenosha on Tuesday. "We are assessing the damage to state property and will be increasing the presence of the Wisconsin National Guard to ensure individuals can exercise their right safely, protect state buildings and critical infrastructure, and support first responders and fire fighters," Evers said Tuesday afternoon.
Roughly five hours later, President Donald Trump, apparently unaware that Evers had already called in the National Guard, tweeted that the governor should call in the National Guard.
Governor should call in the National Guard in Wisconsin. It is ready, willing, and more than able. End problem FAST!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 26, 2020
ACLU of Wisconsin Executive Director Chris Ott called the National Guard move unnecessary and urged law enforcement in the area to avoid arrests and displays of force. In particular, Ott warned against the use of tear gas.
Kenosha police shooting updates: Fires blazing in several Kenosha locations, protests continue in Madison
Protests in Wisconsin’s capital city started around 9 p.m., drawing out hundreds of protesters who were largely peaceful. As night fell, the protests became more tumultuous as the number of people in the crowd dwindled slightly.
Some people started dumpster and trash fires, broke windows and looted businesses, according to city police. A Journal Sentinel reporter saw people looting Warby Parker and other stores along State Street, and noted that windows at UW Credit Union on the square surrounding the capitol were completely bashed in.
Some people threw rocks, bottles and other projectiles at officers during the course of the night, police said, and "chemical agents were utilized." Six people were arrested, including one person armed with a handgun, according to police.
More protests were expected in Wisconsin Tuesday, and Evers declared a state of emergency.
Blake’s mother, Julia Jackson, called on protesters to be peaceful.
"We really just need prayers. As I was riding through here, the city, I noticed a lot of damage. It doesn’t reflect my son or my family. If Jacob knew what was going on as far as that goes – the violence and the destruction – he would be very unpleased," Jackson said, adding, "We need healing."
Who is Jacob Blake?
Blake, 29, has three sons ages 8, 5 and 3, Crump said. Neighbors who live near the shooting scene described Blake as a friendly, fun-loving person who often was seen with his children.
“It’s just awful,” said Stella London, 82, who heard the gunfire Sunday night.
Blake often greeted her as he passed by her home, she said. Another neighbor said he helped them with car trouble a few weeks ago.
"Jacob Blake is a loving father of six that deserves proper medical attention and legal representation," Blake's family wrote on a GoFundMe website that has raised more than $1,000,000 in donations.
Blake had an open warrant stemming from a domestic case in May, but police officials have not said if the officers were aware of the warrant when they responded to the call Sunday. Online records indicate a warrant was issued in the case in early July.
Blake’s grandfather, Jacob Blake Sr., was a prominent minister and civil rights leader in the Chicago area who helped organize a march and spoke in support of a comprehensive housing law in Evanston, Illinois, days after the 1968 slaying of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.
What is Blake's condition?
Blake suffered "at least seven" gunshot wounds, possibly eight, family and lawyers said Tuesday. He underwent surgery Sunday night and was undergoing surgery again Tuesday afternoon.
Blake had parts of his colon and small intestine removed, suffered damaged to his kidney and liver and had at least one bullet go through "some or all" of his spinal cord, family layer Patrick Salvi said. He was also shot in the arm, Salvi said.
"I don’t think he really knows what happened at this point. He’s not there yet," Jackson said.
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Kenosha officials delayed police body cameras for years
City and law enforcement leaders in Kenosha, Wisconsin, unanimously endorsed the use of body cameras in 2017 as a way to increase police accountability and collect evidence at scenes of domestic violence, among other benefits.
But since then, they have balked at the price tag, raised policy concerns and put off implementation. The delays meant that officers who were on the scene of Sunday’s shooting of Jacob Blake while responding to a domestic call were not equipped with technology that could give their perspective on an incident that has roiled the nation.
“This is a tragedy. But at least some good could come from this if this is finally the incident where Kenosha says, ‘we’ve got to get body cameras on these cops right away’,” said Kevin Mathewson, a former member of the common council.
Kenosha Mayor John Antaramian confirmed Monday that current plans call for the city to buy them in 2022 — more than five years after he endorsed their adoption. Kenosha officers do have cameras in their squad cars, but it’s unclear whether any captured the shooting.
Unrest continues across the country
There were protests elsewhere on Monday, too.
Hundreds of people peacefully gathered in New York, Los Angeles and Seattle.
In Minneapolis, where George Floyd was killed by a now-fired police officer on Memorial Day, about 100 people gathered outside a downtown detention center Monday evening, the Hennepin County Sheriff's Office said. Demonstrators broke windows at the detention center, and 11 were arrested, the office said.
In Des Moines, nearly 200 protesters marched through the streets with fists up in the air, chanting "What's his name? Jacob Blake!"
A police precinct was set on fire during a protest in Portland, Oregon, prompting authorities to declare a riot and deploy tear gas to disperse the demonstrators. Protesters had marched to the precinct from a park, chanting the name “Jacob Blake."
Smaller protests also cropped up in Chicago, in Appleton and Oshkosh, Wisconsin, in Providence, Rhode Island, in Rockford, Illinois, and elsewhere.
"This is a national issue," family lawyer B’Ivory LaMarr said in the press conference Tuesday. "Heaven is full to its capacity with victims who have been taken at the hands of law enforcement. It’s at capacity, and that’s probably one of the reasons Jacob lives today."
Breonna Taylor protesters take to Louisville streets in 'massive demonstration'
A “massive demonstration" is expected throughout Louisville on Tuesday to reinvigorate protests over the death of Breonna Taylor, nearly three months after protesters first took to the city's streets.
The demonstration will mark the end of BreonnaCon, a four-day event meant to draw attention to her case. The event was organized by New York-based social justice organization Until Freedom, which was behind the July sit-in at Attorney General Daniel Cameron’s house. The group's leaders have been in Louisville for the past month to lead protests in the name of Taylor and racial justice.
The Louisville Metro Police Department has designated Tuesday as an “All Work-Day," meaning all LMPD personnel will be available for duty.
Protesters are expected to gather at South Central Park at 2 p.m. and march to the LMPD Training Academy, which is in the southern part of Louisville, a couple of blocks from Churchill Downs. The direct action is scheduled for 5 p.m., and after arriving at the academy, Until Freedom leadership said the protesters will continue to another location but did not disclose where.
Lafayette police shooting: Family seeks peaceful protest as demonstrations continue
Protesters speaking out against the killing of 31-year-old Trayford Pellerin by Lafayette, La. police should remain peaceful, and officers responsible for his death should be fired, his family urged Monday night.
Surrounded by Pellerin's grandmother, father and aunt, his mother asked that Lafayette protests honor him by those marching in the streets and holding demonstrations across the city avoiding violence.
"I want the public to help keep his name going. But in a good way," said Michelle Pellerin, the victim's mother. "We are not for the violence and bloodshed. Enough blood has been shed."
Monday marked the third day of protests across the city since Pellerin died in a burst of gunfire as officers approached him at a gas station Friday night.
Contributing: Ashley Luthern, Gina Barton and Ricardo Torres, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel; Andrea May Sahouri and Katie Akin, Des Moines Register; The Associated Press
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Jacob Blake police shooting protests; unrest in Portland, Louisville