Jacob Blake’s father said his son is now paralyzed from the waist down after being shot by police over the weekend
Jacob Blake, the Black man who was shot in the back by police in Kenosha, Wisconsin, has been left paralyzed from the waist down, according to his father. Jacob Blake Senior told the Chicago Sun-Times that his son was shot eight times during the incident with police, which was captured on cell phone video and has led to two nights of protests in the city calling to defund the police and punish the officers involved.
Blake’s father told the newspaper that his son now has “eight holes in his body,” and is paralyzed from the waist down. Doctors are uncertain if the paralysis will be permanent. The shooting happened around 5 p.m. on Sunday when officers responded to calls of a domestic incident. Video shows Blake walking away from police officers who were seen pointing their weapons at Blake. He was entering an SUV when an officer grabbed the back of his shirt, and opened fire, landing at least seven shots into Blake’s back.
The city of Kenosha has been a site of unrest since Sunday, as protesters have taken to the streets chanting, “No justice, no peace” in honor of Blake. Officers in riot gear fired tear gas at protestors about 30 minutes after the 8 p.m. curfew took place. Hundreds of people remained in the streets, lighting fires and smashing windows as tensions escalated.
Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers condemned the National Guard on Monday for tear-gassing protestors. He’s also calling lawmakers into session to take action on a package of bills aimed at reducing the prevalence of police brutality.
“Frankly, I should not need to call a special session,” he said in an address from the state Capitol. “Leaders show up. Leaders do the work that needs to be done and that the people demand of them. But we cannot wait for Republican leadership to show up for work because clearly they intend to keep us waiting. That’s not going to cut it.”
A news conference with Kenosha Mayor John Antarmian on Monday, originally to be held in a park, was moved inside the city’s public safety building on Monday. Hundreds of protesters rushed to the building and as police in riot gear pepper-sprayed the crowd.
Raysean White, the 22-year-old man who recorded the officers shooting Blake in the back, told WCCO-TV that he heard the officers yell, “Drop the knife! Drop the knife!” before shooting him. White says he didn’t see a knife in Blake’s hands. The governor also said he has seen no information related to the case that suggests Blake had a knife or any other weapon, though the investigation is ongoing.
“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,” Gov. Evers said.
The officers involved in the shooting were placed on administrative leave, which is standard practice in a shooting by police. No further details about the officers or their records have been released.