KENOSHA, WI—Jacob Blake, 29, who was shot by police officers after resisting their orders, is now paralyzed from the waist down. Doctors do not know if the injury is permanent, his father told reporters. He added that his son was shot eight times.
As of August 25, the GoFundMe for Blake, set up by his family surpassed its $1 million goal. Its goal has been changed to $2 million.
Julia Jackson, Blake’s mother, denounced the destruction she saw in the city caused by protests from the night before during an August 24 press conference. She spoke on themes of healing and unity stating:
“Let’s use our hearts, our love, and our intelligence to work together to show the rest of the world how humans are supposed to treat each other. America is great when we behave greatly.”
The incident transpired in Kenosha, Wisconsin around 5 p.m. on Sunday, August 23. Officers were responding to a domestic disturbance of a fight between women. Six witnesses say Blake was trying to break up the fight. In a viral video of the incident captured by Raysean White, 22, Blake walks to the driver’s door of his SUV, where his children ages 3, 5, and 8, are sitting in the backseat.
Two officers had guns pointed at Blake as he opened the door, one grabs Blake’s shirt, and they fire. Seven shots can be heard in the video. It is unknown if officers saw something in the car that prompted them to shoot, but the case is still under investigation.
White claimed he heard a scuffle between Blake and the officers followed by the officers yelling, “Drop the knife!”, before gunshots were fired The video reveals Blake to be holding a dark-colored object in his left hand. There is no evidence to suggest Blake had a knife or weapon, as the case is still being investigated. Governor Tony Evers falsely claimed in a statement there is no information to suggest Blake was armed.
Blake was tended to on the scene and sent to a Milwaukee hospital in serious condition, returning to stable condition sometime after admittance. The two officers involved are on administrative leave, as is standard practice in a police shooting.
On August 24, Evers called out 125 members of the National Guard to quell a second night of unrest over Blake’s shooting. During a press conference, Evers stated the guards’ purpose is “to help protect critical infrastructure and assist in maintaining public safety and the ability of individuals to peacefully protest.”
Protesters tried to force their way into the municipal public-safety building next to the Kenosha County Courthouse, breaking the door from its hinges. Authorities had been clashing with protesters, pushed them back with pepper spray.
An 8 p.m. curfew has been established by local authorities.
A line of officers threw tear gas and pepper balls at protesters out after curfew, who threw firecrackers and water bottles in return.
Members of the group started fires and left buildings damaged throughout the city.