Shortly after a 29-year-old Black man named Jacob Blake was shot seven times in the back by police in Kenosha, Wisconsin on Sunday August 23rd, 2020, protests erupted across the area that forced a citywide curfew. It started with several dumpsters being set on fire, and just kept getting worse.
According to CBS News, “Several businesses in the area were vandalized and about fifty cars were set on fire at a local car lot”. As Gayle King told the story on CBS This Morning you can see the pain and hurt in her eyes as she made the report and said “We are tired of it.”
Jacob’s kids were in the car during the shooting, three of his sons, and one of them was celebrating his birthday. It would definitely be one that traumatizes him for the rest of his life after seeing his father shot seven times in the back by a police officer who could have just as easily used a taser instead of deadly force.
Reactions to the Shooting of Jacob Blake
Governor of Wisconsin, Tony Evers said, “We stand with all those who have and continue to demand Justice, equity, and accountability for Black lives in our country…” The governor also posted on Twitter, “While we do not have all 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.”
Basketball star LeBron James was very vocal about the way he felt. “And y’all wonder why we say what we say about the Police!” he tweeted. “Someone please tell me WTF is this???!!! Exactly another black man being targeted. This s*** is so wrong and so sad!! Feel so sorry for him, his family and OUR PEOPLE!! We want JUSTICE”.
The Milwaukee Bucks organization also posted a statement in which they said that they were “praying for the recovery of Jacob Blake” and that they “stand firmly against recurring issues of excessive use of force and immediate escalation when engaging the Black community.”
According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Presidential hopeful Joe Biden said in a statement that “We are at an inflection point. We must dismantle systemic racism.” Kamala Harris, Biden’s Vice-Presidential running mate, responded that “Jacob Blake should not be fighting for his life right now…there must be an immediate investigation and the officers involved should be held accountable.”
Jacob’s Condition After the Shooting
Shortly before the shooting, Jacob was barbecuing with his children. He was breaking up a fight between two people, and then a little over a half a dozen police officers showed up. The cops wanted to talk to him, but Jacob didn’t want to, and he started putting his children in the car. Then, as Jacob went to get in the front driver’s seat, an officer shot him at point blank range seven times in the back.
The footage is graphic and very hard to watch. The police also weren’t wearing body cameras, which is sparking more anger and confusion across the American public.
Jacob’s father said that his son was out of surgery and in stable condition early the following afternoon. We are all praying for his recovery, and that these senseless shootings by police of Black men in America cease.