The incident happened on Sunday afternoon as the man identified as Jacob Blake tried to get into a gray SUV. He is now in serious condition, according to the Kenosha Police Department.
Officers were responding to a domestic incident, police said with witnesses telling the Kenosha News that Blake was trying to break up a fight and that police first attempted to taser him.
Two officers followed Blake while he was approaching his vehicle and as he opened the driver’s side door, one officer grabbed his shirt from behind and fired into the vehicle. At least seven shots are heard in the video.
Blake was shot in front of his children and according to Ben Crump, a civil rights attorney, his three sons were inside the car.
Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers said, “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.”
Tonight, Jacob Blake was shot in the back multiple times, in broad daylight, in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Kathy and I join his family, friends, and neighbors in hoping earnestly that he will not succumb to his injuries.— Governor Tony Evers (@GovEvers) August 24, 2020
“We stand with all those who have and continue to demand justice, equity, and accountability for Black lives in our country,” he added.
Following the incident, an angry crowd gathered in protest at the intersection where Blake was shot. They were heard chanting, “No justice no peace!”
“We understand that the cops have a job to do. But we understand that the cops have their job to do with restraint,” said witness La-Ron Franklin.
“I know he’s got kids and a girl. I never had a problem with him. I always see him every day. Parks right behind me on the street,” Aaron, a neighbor, told CBS 58.
Police officers arrived at the scene in riot gear and videos from the scene showed police sprayed tear gas. Several police cars were damaged too.
Some people continued to walk down the street and others were driving in their cars as hundreds congregated outside the Kenosha County Public Safety Building.
#BREAKING: Large crowd has formed outside the scene of an officer-involved shooting in #Kenosha. @KenoshaPolice say they a man is seriously hurt. People are now breaking the windows of cop cars. Warning – expletives @tmj4 pic.twitter.com/pKqbSKrZQY— Lauren Linder (@lauren_linder) August 24, 2020
The video caused outrage online too. Julián Castro, the former San Antonio mayor and Democratic presidential candidate, expressed his anger on Twitter, questioning whether the police considered “non-lethal methods.”
“Why didn’t officers physically restrain him? Or use their tasers? Or disable the vehicle?,” Castro added.
Bernice King, Martin Luther King Jr.’s daughter and the chief executive of the King Center, said on Twitter she was deeply distressed to see another video of officers using violence against a Black person.
We shouldn’t have to see one more video of a Black human being brutalized and/or gunned down by police in a clear case of excessive or unwarranted force.
Anybody who doesn’t believe we are beyond a state of emergency is choosing to lack empathy and awareness.— Be A King (@BerniceKing) August 24, 2020
The latest incident comes as mass protests have been held in recent months in cities across the US following the brutal murder of unarmed African American George Floyd in police custody in Minneapolis.
The 46-year-old died after a white officer knelt on his neck and pinned him to the ground for nine minutes in Minneapolis, Minnesota, on May 25.