Kenosha, Wisconsin sees second night of protests after police shooting of Jacob Blake
National Guard to be deployed to combat violence; Jonathan hunt reports.
The mother of a Black man who was shot multiple times by police in Kenosha, Wis., setting off two nights of unrest and looting that have mirrored nationwide protests seen this summer, pleaded for calm Tuesday.
Flanked by the family of Jacob Blake, Julia Jackson told reporters outside the Kenosha County Courthouse that her son would not be pleased by the violence unfolding in the city.
"As I was riding through here, this city, I noticed a lot of damage and it doesn't reflect my son," Jackson said. "So I'm really asking, and encouraging everyone in Wisconsin and abroad to take a moment and examine your heart. As I pray for my son's healing … I also have been praying even before this for the healing of our country."
The attorney for the family said the 29-year-old Blake had been paralyzed from the waist down from the officer's bullets and was in surgery.
"It is going to take a miracle for Jacob Blake to ever walk again," said attorney Ben Crump.
Blake's father, Jacob Blake Sr., was overwhelmed with emotion when speaking to reporters about the shooting.
JACOB BLAKE'S FATHER SAYS SON LEFT PARTIALLY PARALYZED BY POLICE SHOOTING: REPORT
"They shot my son seven times, seven times like he didn't matter," a tearful Blake said. "He's a human being and he matters."
Lawyers for the Blake family demanded the Kenosha Police Department take swift action against the officers involved in the Sunday evening shooting. They said the family plans to file a civil rights lawsuit.
"How long is it going to take to terminate the officers who were involved in this tragedy?" said attorney B’Ivory LaMarr. "Heaven is full to its capacity with victims that have been taken at the hands of law enforcement. And that's probably one of the reasons why Jacob lives today."
Blake was shot multiple times during an encounter with police who were responding to a domestic dispute. Witnesses said Blake was attempting to break up a fight. Cellphone video captured the incident and appeared to show an officer firing multiple shots behind Blake as he got into an SUV with his sons, ages 3, 5 and 8, inside.
Police have not discussed the shooting pubicly. The Wisconsin Department of Justice is investigating.
Attorney Patrick Salvi said Blake suffered several injuries, adding that the bullets penetrated his stomach, and that his colon and some small intestines had to be removed. The bullets also severed Blake’s spinal cord and shattered his vertebrae.
Blake's father is slated to speak at the March on Washington commemoration on Friday, said Crump, who also represents the family of George Floyd, whose death while in Minneapolis police custody set off a nationwide reckoning over police brutality and systemic racism that is ongoing.
Sunday's shooting has made Kenosha the latest flashpoint over policing tactics as violence spilled out into the streets. Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers, a Democrat, on Tuesday announced the National Guard presence would swell to 250 after Monday night's events. Businesses were looted and vandalized, and fires were set despite an 8 p.m. curfew.
U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson and U.S. Rep. Bryan Steil, both Republicans, called on the governor to do more to quell the unrest. Steil said he would request federal assistance if necessary.
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A Wisconsin state lawmaker claimed Evers and Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes encouraged violence with their comments after the shooting.
“They did not call for peace. They did not encourage calm,” Republican state Sen. Howard Marklein said. “They did encourage people to jump to conclusions and take negative action.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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