Wisconsin Democratic Governor Tony Evers immediately moved to criticize law enforcement officials late on Sunday night after a black man was shot in Kenosha, a city that is only a couple of miles north of the Illinois-Wisconsin border. Evers said in the statement that not all the details of the case were known yet.
“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,” Evers said in a statement. “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.”
“And we stand against excessive use of force and immediate escalation when engaging with Black Wisconsinites,” Evers continued. “I have said all along that although we must offer our empathy, equally important is our action. In the coming days, we will demand just that of elected officials in our state who have failed to recognize the racism in our state and our country for far too long.”
A video that went viral on social media that showed the incident appeared to show that something happened while several police officers engaged Blake as the officers all drew their weapons and pointed them at Blake at the same time.
Blake appeared to ignore police commands and attempted to enter a vehicle while they were trying to stop him, at which point at least one of the officers opened fire on Blake, who was shot several times.
— chrizi (@nolimitchrizi) August 23, 2020
Another video that was posted on Facebook showed the incident from another angle.
Here's a video of the shooting that happened in Kenosha, Wisconsin. This video shows the shooting of Jacob Blake from a different vantage point. pic.twitter.com/d2CYIis6Zm
— Ian Miles Cheong (@stillgray) August 24, 2020
The fact-finding website Heavy.com reported that authorities had a warrant out for Blake’s arrest:
According to Wisconsin Circuit Court Access online records, a Jacob S. Blake, same age and with an address in the same exact block where the shooting occurred, had a warrant issued for him on July 7 on pending accusations of misdemeanor criminal trespass to a dwelling with domestic abuse as a modifier; felony third-degree sexual assault with domestic abuse as a modifier; and misdemeanor disorderly conduct with domestic abuse as a modifier. A support action was dismissed, and the only other case that comes up is for not having a driver’s license.
A 2015 story in Racine Eye described how “Racine police say K9 Dozer had to help officers take a man into custody when the man refused to go quietly into custody after he pulled a gun at a local bar.” The man was described as Jacob Blake, 24, of Racine, which makes him the same age as the man shot by police on August 23. The Racine Eye story says he was charged with “one felony count of resisting arrest causing a soft tissue injury to a police officer and one misdemeanor count each of carrying a concealed weapon, carrying a firearm while intoxicated, endangering safety-use of a dangerous weapon, and disorderly conduct.” Those charges don’t show up on the circuit court website though.
The Kenosha Police Department released a statement following the shooting that said that officers were called to the 2800 block of 40th Street, which appears to be the same street that was listed on the arrest warrant that had been issued, to respond to a domestic incident.
The Wisconsin Department of Justice Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) is investigating the incident.
— Kenosha Police Dept. (@KenoshaPolice) August 24, 2020