Jacob Blake: Nation outraged after police shoot unarmed Black man in Wisconsin

Cyril Josh Barker | 8/27/2020, midnight | Updated on 8/27/2020, 7:31 a.m.
New York was one of the several states where outrage broke out across the nation again as another unarmed Black ...
Jacob Blake Family photo

New York was one of the several states where outrage broke out across the nation again as another unarmed Black man was shot by police and it was all caught on video. The victim is 29-year-old Jacob Blake who was shot seven times in the back by police in front of children in broad daylight in Kenosha, Wisconsin His family says he was left paralyzed from the waist down but could walk again.

The incident took place Sunday, Aug. 23, when police were attempting to arrest Blake during a domestic dispute, according to reports. Officers were responding to a 911 call about Blake taking someone’s car keys. Blake’s attorney says Blake was trying to break up an altercation between several women when police were called. When officers arrived on the scene, they tried to tase Blake.

Video shot by a bystander shows Blake walking to the driver’s side of his SUV as officers have their guns drawn. Black opened the door of his vehicle and reached in before an officer pulled Blake’s shirt and fired seven times in his back. Blake’s three sons were in the back seat of the SUV when the officer shot their father. Reports indicate that Blake went to his vehicle to check on his children.

Reports indicate that the Wisconsin Department of Justice says Blake admitted to having a knife, which law enforcement recovered at the scene. The man who recorded the now-viral video of Blake's shooting said in one report that he didn't see a knife.

Blake was flown to an area hospital where he was in serious condition. His family reported that he was paralyzed from the waist down but reported Wednesday, Aug. 26 that his doctors had informed them he might be able to walk again.

“I want to put my hand on my son’s cheek and kiss him on his forehead and then I’ll be OK,” Blake’s father, Jacob Blake, Sr. said in a published interview. “I’ll kiss him with my mask. The first thing I want to do is touch my son.”

Civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump is representing the family and said Blake’s spinal cord was severed as a result of the shooting. Crump says the family is fighting for justice.

“We all watched the horrific video of Jacob Blake being shot in the back several times by Kenosha police,” said civil rights Attorney Crump, who’s representing the family. “Even worse, his three sons witnessed their father collapse after being riddled with bullets. Their irresponsible, reckless, and inhumane actions nearly cost the life of a man who was simply trying to do the right thing by intervening in a domestic incident. It’s a miracle he’s still alive.”

The investigation into the shooting is being handled by the Wisconsin Division of Criminal Investigation who will refer findings to the District Attorney Michael D. Graveley who will decide whether or not charges will be filed. The officer who shot Blake has been identified as Rusten Sheskey. He's placed on administrative leave along with the two other officers involved. Body cams were not being worn by the officers.

Following the shooting, uprisings began in Kenosha and around the nation. America is still reeling from the shootings of other unarmed African Americans including Breonna Taylor, George Floyd and Ahmaud Arbery.

A state of emergency was declared and the National Guard was called into Kenosha after several nights of civil unrest. On Tuesday, two protesters were allegedly shot and killed by 17-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse associated with a white militia group. Rittenhouse traveled from Illinois and was a supporter of the police. He was reportedly radicalized by white supremacist groups on Facebook.

In New York, hundreds gathered this week in Times Square and marched to Washington Square Park, Foley Square and the Brooklyn Bridge. A rally was also held this week in Union Square.