Police Shooting of Jacob Blake Prompts Calls to End ‘Police Terror’

Jacob Blake and his family courtesy of Twitter

Jacob Blake, an unarmed Black man, was shot multiple times Sunday evening by a police officer in Kenosha, Wisconsin, prompting protests across the city and calls from public figures for action.

The shooting happened after officers were called about a domestic incident on a residential street around 5:11 p.m.

In a video tweeted out by civil rights attorney Ben Crump, Blake is shown walking around the front of a gray SUV with two officers behind him, one with his weapon trained on Blake’s back. As Blake enters the driver’s side of his car, the nearest officer grabs his tank top and seven shots are heard.

It is not clear from the video if both officers opened fire. Crump, who is representing Blake’s family, said he was headed to his car after “breaking up a fight between two women.” It is also known who made the original call and what preceded the video recording.

ABC7 Chicago reported Blake’s fiancée Laquisha Booke said he was unarmed.

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As of Monday morning, Blake was in serious condition at a Milwaukee hospital. The Wisconsin Department of Justice’s Division of Criminal Investigation said the officers involved had been put on administrative leave.

“Tonight, Jacob Blake was shot in the back multiple times, in broad daylight,” Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers said in a statement posted on Twitter. “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.”

Crump said Blake’s three children were in the car and called for justice for the family.

“Confirmed: Jacob Blake’s 3 SONS were IN THE CAR he was getting into when @KenoshaPolice shot him tonight,” he tweeted. “They saw a cop shoot their father. They will be traumatized forever. We cannot let officers violate their duty to PROTECT us. Our kids deserve better!! #JusticeForJacobBlake” 

Roxane Gay, author of the New York Times bestselling book Bad Feminist, said she’s “beyond anger.”

“I am thinking of Jacob Blake, 29, shot 7 times tonight by a police officer in Kenosha,” she wrote on Twitter. “I am thinking of his children who witnessed this shooting and his fiancée and family. I am beyond anger at this point. We all should be.”

Actress and comedian Aisha Tyler urged social media users to say Blake’s name.

“He was trying to break up a fight. He wasn’t armed. He was relieved police had arrived to handle the fight, so he went to get in his car and drive his children safely home,” she tweeted. “They shot him seven times. In the back. In front of his children. Say his name. Jacob Blake. #blm.” 

Meanwhile, Star Trek actor George Takei called for an end to “police terror.”

“May Jacob Blake make a full recovery. May the cops who shot him in the back in front of his children face justice. May we all work to end police terror and racial violence in this country,” he tweeted.

Read the tweets below.