Father says Black Wisconsin man shot by police is paralyzed; protests break out

Police attempt to push back protesters outside the Kenosha County Courthouse, late Monday, Aug. 24, 2020, in Kenosha, Wis. Protesters converged on the county courthouse during a second night of clashes after the police shooting of Jacob Blake a day earlier turned Kenosha into the nation’s latest flashpoint city in a summer of racial unrest. (AP Photo/David Goldman)Police attempt to push back protesters outside the Kenosha County Courthouse, late Monday, Aug. 24, 2020, in Kenosha, Wis. Protesters converged on the county courthouse during a second night of clashes after the police shooting of Jacob Blake a day earlier turned Kenosha into the nation’s latest flashpoint city in a summer of racial unrest. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
An American flag falls from its pole as police attempt to secure the area after protesters set fire to the department of corrections building, late Monday, Aug. 24, 2020, in Kenosha, Wis. Protests have erupted following the police shooting of Jacob Blake a day earlier. (AP Photo/David Goldman)An American flag falls from its pole as police attempt to secure the area after protesters set fire to the department of corrections building, late Monday, Aug. 24, 2020, in Kenosha, Wis. Protests have erupted following the police shooting of Jacob Blake a day earlier. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
Protesters set fire to an office late Monday, Aug. 24, 2020, in Kenosha, Wis. Protesters converged on the county courthouse during a second night of clashes after the police shooting of Jacob Blake a day earlier turned Kenosha into the nation’s latest flashpoint city in a summer of racial unrest. (AP Photo/David Goldman)Protesters set fire to an office late Monday, Aug. 24, 2020, in Kenosha, Wis. Protesters converged on the county courthouse during a second night of clashes after the police shooting of Jacob Blake a day earlier turned Kenosha into the nation’s latest flashpoint city in a summer of racial unrest. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

A Black man shot multiple times, apparently in the back, by police in Wisconsin is paralyzed from the waist down and has “eight holes” in his body, the father of victim Jacob Blake said.

The shooting in broad daylight on Sunday by police in Kenosha, captured on cellphone video that quickly spread on social media, ignited new protests over racial injustice. It comes three months after the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police set off demonstrations around the United States and touched off a wider reckoning on race.

Blake’s father, also named Jacob Blake, told the Chicago Sun-Times in a story published Tuesday that he didn’t know if his 29-year-old son’s paralysis would be permanent. The older man was travelling from North Carolina to be with his son who was being treated in a Milwaukee hospital.

“I want to put my hand on my son’s cheek and kiss him on his forehead, and then I’ll be OK,” the father told the newspaper. “I’ll kiss him with my mask. The first thing I want to do is touch my son.”

Blake’s father said that he learned Sunday night that officers had shot his son eight times and shortly thereafter he watched the video, which appears to show his son being shot in the back.

Ben Crump, a civil rights attorney representing the Blake family, said three of Blake’s sons — aged 3, 5 and 8 — were in the car at the time of the shooting. Crump scheduled a Tuesday afternoon news conference in Kenosha with Blake’s family members to address the shooting.

The father has not returned multiple messages left by The Associated Press.

He is slated to speak at a March on Washington commemoration on Friday organized by the Rev. Al Sharpton. His father and the victim’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.

The officers were placed on administrative leave, which is standard practice in such cases. Authorities released no details about the officers and did not immediately respond to requests for their service records.

Wisconsin is one of the most racially divided states in the country. While about 7% of the state’s population is Black, in Kenosha about 12% of residents are Black, based on 2019 Census data. Both the mayor and police chief are white.

Since the shooting, anger has spilled into the streets of Kenosha and other cities, including Wisconsin’s capital of Madison and in Minneapolis, the epicenter of the Black Lives Matter movement this summer following Floyd’s death.

Hundreds of protesters in Kenosha set fire to several buildings downtown on Monday night, including a furniture store and a community corrections building. They defied an 8 p.m. curfew and clashed with officers in riot gear, including 125 members of the Wisconsin National Guard, who deployed tear gas as they guarded the courthouse. Protesters set fire to cars and dumpsters, threw bottles and shot fireworks.

A city block was cordoned off Tuesday, so officials could survey damage. Several storefronts were badly damaged, including a computer store whose windows were broken. It appears merchandise was removed from its shelves. Smoke filled the air and visibility was low as firefighters used water cannons on the buildings.

“Nobody deserves this,” said Pat Oertle, owner of Computer Adventure, which was vandalized. “This accomplishes nothing. … This is not justice that they’re looking for. This is destroying things.”

Earlier on Monday, when Kenosha Mayor John Antarmian moved a news conference from a park to inside the public safety building, hundreds of protesters rushed to the building and a door was snapped off its hinges before police in riot gear pepper-sprayed the crowd.

In Madison, about 500 protesters marched to the state capitol on Monday night, breaking windows, stealing from stores and spraying graffiti along the way. Police used tear gas and pepper spray on the crowds and six people were arrested, according to Madison police.

In Minneapolis, 11 were arrested after breaking windows at the county jail on Monday night. One police officer suffered a broken hand in an altercation with demonstrators, the sheriff’s department said.

Wisconsin Democratic Gov. Tony Evers was quick to condemn the shooting in Kenosha and on Monday called on the Republican-controlled Legislature to take up a package of police reform bills in a special session next week. But Republican Assembly Speaker Robin Vos said instead he is creating a task force to study policing and racial injustice issues.

A Republican Wisconsin lawmaker said Evers and Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes, who is Black, did not do enough to quell the violence.

“They did not call for peace. They did not encourage calm,” state Sen. Howard Marklein said. “They did encourage people to jump to conclusions and take negative action. The governor needs to accept responsibility for this.”

Evers’ spokeswoman did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, citing other recent shootings of Black people by police, said: “Those shots pierce the soul of our nation.”

Police in Kenosha, a city of about 100,000 in between Milwaukee and Chicago, said they were responding to a call about a domestic dispute when they encountered Blake on Sunday.

The man who said he made the cellphone video, 22-year-old Raysean White, said he saw Blake scuffling with three officers and heard them yell, “Drop the knife! Drop the knife!” before the gunfire erupted. He said he didn’t see a knife in Blake’s hands.

In the footage, Blake walks from the sidewalk around the front of his SUV to his driver-side door as officers follow him with their guns pointed and shout at him. As Blake opens the door and leans into the SUV, an officer grabs his shirt from behind and opens fire while Blake has his back turned. Seven shots can be heard, though it isn’t clear how many struck Blake or how many officers fired.

Police did not say whether Blake was armed or why police opened fire, they released no details on the domestic dispute, and they did not immediately disclose the race of the three officers at the scene.

The Wisconsin Department of Justice is leading the investigation into the shooting, which is expected to take several weeks.

___

Bauer reported from Madison, Wisconsin. Associated Press reporters Todd Richmond in Madison, Wisconsin, Jeff Baenen in Minneapolis, Aaron Morrison in New York, and Tammy Webber in Fenton, Michigan, contributed.

Mike Householder And Scott Bauer, The Associated Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

USA

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Kootenay Columbia Teachers’ Union president Andy Davidoff. Photo: Jennifer Small
An open letter to Premier Horgan and Minister Whiteside: Let’s stop harming our children during a pandemic

A letter from Andrew Davidoff, President Kootenay Columbia Teachers’ Union

Interior Health reported 79 new cases of COVID-19 and two new death in the region Friday, Jan. 22, 2021. (Ben Hohenstatt/Juneau Empire)
79 new COVID-19 cases, two deaths reported in Interior Health

Both of Friday’s deaths were both recorded at long-term care homes

A vehicle rolled over off of the Highway 3 off ramp into the Home Hardware parking lot Jan. 21, 2021. Photo: Betsy Kline
Driver sent to hospital after vehicle roll over in Castlegar

Accident happened Thursday around 4:30 p.m.

Interior Health has set up a COVID-19 testing site in Castlegar. Photo: Betsy Kline
No new COVID-19 cases diagnosed in Castlegar for Jan. 10-16

The latest localized BCDCD COVID-19 numbers

Interior Health reported 91 new COVID-19 cases in the region Jan. 20, 2021 and three additional deaths. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
95 new COVID-19 cases in Interior Health, two deaths

Another member of Vernon’s Noric House has passed

U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders sits in on a COVID-19 briefing with Dr. Bonnie Henry, provincial health officer, and Adrian Dix, B.C. minister of health. (Birinder Narang/Twitter)
PHOTOS: Bernie Sanders visits B.C. landmarks through the magic of photo editing

Residents jump on viral trend of photoshopping U.S. senator into images

A 75-year-old aircraft has been languishing in a parking lot on the campus of the University of the Fraser Valley, but will soon be moved to the B.C. Aviation Museum. (Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
Vintage military aircraft moving from Chilliwack to new home at B.C. Aviation Museum

The challenging move to Vancouver Island will be documented by Discovery Channel film crews

A video posted to social media by Chilliwack resident Rob Iezzi shows a teenager getting kicked in the face after being approached by three suspects on Friday, Jan. 22, 2021. (YouTube/Rob i)
VIDEO: Security cameras capture ‘just one more assault’ near B.C. high school

Third high-school related assault captured by Chilliwack resident’s cameras since beginning of 2021

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

FILE - In this Feb. 14, 2017, file photo, Oklahoma State Rep. Justin Humphrey prepares to speak at the State Capitol in Oklahoma City. A mythical, ape-like creature that has captured the imagination of adventurers for decades has now become the target of Rep. Justin Humphrey. Humphrey, a Republican House member has introduced a bill that would create a Bigfoot hunting season, He says issuing a state hunting license and tag could help boost tourism. (Steve Gooch/The Oklahoman via AP, File)
Oklahoma lawmaker proposes ‘Bigfoot’ hunting season

A Republican House member has introduced a bill that would create a Bigfoot hunting season

Economic Development and Official Languages Minister Melanie Joly responds to a question in the House of Commons Monday November 23, 2020 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Federal minister touts need for new B.C. economic development agency

Last December’s federal economic update promised a stimulus package of about $100 billion this year

FILE - In this Nov. 20, 2017, file photo, Larry King attends the 45th International Emmy Awards at the New York Hilton, in New York. Former CNN talk show host King has been hospitalized with COVID-19 for more than a week, the news channel reported Saturday, Jan. 2, 2021. CNN reported the 87-year-old King contracted the coronavirus and was undergoing treatment at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. (Photo by Andy Kropa/Invision/AP, File)
Larry King, broadcasting giant for half-century, dies at 87

King conducted an estimated 50,000 on-air interviews

BC Coroners Service is currently investigating a death at Canoe Cove Marina and Boatyard in North Saanich. (Black Press Media File)
Drowning death in North Saanich likely B.C.’s first in for 2021

Investigation into suspected drowning Monday night continues

Kimberly Proctor, 18, was murdered in 2010. Her family has spent many of the years since pushing for a law in her honour, that they say would help to prevent similar tragedies. (Courtesy of Jo-Anne Landolt)
Proposed law honouring murdered B.C. teen at a standstill, lacks government support

Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions has concerns with involuntary detainment portion of act

Most Read