Here We Go Again

Here we go again……

 

Jacob Blake: Shooting of black man by Wisconsin police condemned by Joe Biden as civil unrest grows

Jacob Blake was allegedly trying to break up a fight between two women when an officer held his shirt and shot him in the back. Monday 24 August 2020   [ sky.com ]

 

The seven gun shots fired at a black man at close range by Wisconsin police pierced “the soul of our nation,” US presidential hopeful Joe Biden has said.  The victim, identified by the state governor as Jacob Blake, was flown by helicopter to hospital on Sunday evening after being shot repeatedly in the back in the city of Kenosha.  He is in a serious condition.

 

Footage circulating on social media showed the incident with Mr Blake, who does not appear to be carrying a weapon, seen walking towards a car as two officers followed him with their guns drawn.  As Mr Blake opens the car door, one of the officers can be seen grabbing his vest and shooting him in the back.  Seven shots can be heard followed by the car’s horn continuously beeping.

 

Civil rights lawyer Benjamin Crump, who represents George Floyd‘s family, said Mr Blake’s three sons were in the car when he was shot.  Police said they had been called to a domestic incident at 5:11pm, but gave no further details as to what led to the shooting that followed.  Witnesses said Mr Blake was trying to break up a fight between two women when the officers arrived.

 

Presidential front-runner Mr Biden condemned the shooting of 29-year-old Mr Blake, calling for “an immediate, full and transparent investigation” and that the officers “must be held accountable.”  He said in a statement: “And this morning, the nation wakes up yet again with grief and outrage that yet another Black American is a victim of excessive force.  These shots pierce the soul of our nation.”

 

Former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton also tweeted: “I’m praying for Jacob Blake today. I’m standing with everyone who believes justice must be served in this horrific case and too many others like it. Black lives matter. Black lives matter. Black lives matter.”

 

The officers involved in the shooting have been placed on administrative leave, the Wisconsin Department of Justice said early on Monday.  Wisconsin state governor Tony Evers wrote in a tweet: “We stand against excessive use of force and immediate escalation when engaging with black Wisconsinites.”  Wisconsin’s division of criminal investigation is looking into the shooting and said it will seek to “provide a report of the incident to the prosecutor within 30 days”.

 

A city-wide curfew was imposed until 7am on Monday after large protests marched down the streets throwing Molotov cocktails and bricks at police, with one officer reportedly injured by a brick.  A large rubbish truck parked on the road to prevent demonstrators marching towards the police station could be seen on fire before one of its tyres exploded, while people were seen kicking police cars and smashing their windows.  Kenosha’s protests are the latest in a series of ongoing demonstrations against police brutality and racism since 25 May when George Floyd died after a white police officer knelt on his neck for eight minutes and 46 seconds.

 

Wisconsin deploys National Guard as police shooting of Black man sparks unrest

 

Nathan Layne, Daniel Trotta      August 24, 2020    [ reuters.com ]

 

Wisconsin’s governor on Monday deployed his state’s National Guard to Kenosha following a night of sometimes-violent unrest that came after police in the lakeside city shot a Black man multiple times in the back. 

 

Governor Tony Evers also called a special legislative session to take up a package of bills aimed at addressing problems with law enforcement following the shooting of 29-year-old Jacob Blake late Sunday afternoon. Blake’s three sons saw the shooting, a lawyer for the family said.  After being rushed to a hospital, Blake was out of surgery and in stable condition, his father told news media on Monday.

 

In a video taken by a bystander across the street from the shooting, Blake can be seen walking toward the driver’s side of a gray SUV followed by two officers with their guns drawn at his back. Seven gunshot sounds can be heard as Blake, who appears to be unarmed, opens the car door, and a woman nearby jumps up and down in disbelief.  It was unknown whether the officers saw something inside the vehicle that caused them to fire on Blake. It was also not clear whether one or both officers fired their weapons.  Crowds gathered at the scene, and some protesters set fires and threw bricks and Molotov cocktails at police, prompting authorities to close public buildings. Activists said they were organizing another night of demonstrations for Tuesday night.

 

Evers, a Democrat, condemned what he called the “excessive use of force and immediate escalation when engaging with Black Wisconsinites.” He announced the special session next Monday for legislators to consider legislation introduced months ago to improve police accountability and eliminate dangerous practices.  “We must rise to this movement and this moment and meet it with our empathy, our humanity and a fierce commitment to disrupt the cycle of systemic racism and bias that devastates Black families and communities,” Evers said in a public address.  Pete Deates, president of the city’s police union, the Kenosha Professional Police Association, said Evers was “wholly irresponsible” for rushing to judgment, and asked the public to wait until all facts are known.  The shooting occurred three months after the death of George Floyd, a Black man, in Minneapolis police custody sparked nationwide protests against police brutality and structural racism in the United States.

 

Former Vice President Joe Biden, the Democrat challenging Republican President Donald Trump in the Nov. 3 election, on Monday called for the officers to be held accountable.  “And this morning, the nation wakes up yet again with grief and outrage that yet another Black American is a victim of excessive force,” Biden said in a statement. “These shots pierce the soul of our nation.”  Close to 200 members of the Wisconsin National Guard will soon be deployed on Monday to Kenosha, a person familiar with the matter told Reuters, as the city set a curfew for a second night starting from 8 p.m. until 7 a.m CDT on Tuesday (0100 to 1200 GMT on Tuesday).

 

Protesters had already begun gathering in Kenosha, a city of around 100,000 people on Lake Michigan about 65 miles (100 km) north of Chicago, early Monday afternoon.  “This city is not going to stop burning itself down until they (protesters) know that this officer has been fired,” said Whitney Cabal, one of the leaders of the Black Lives Matter chapter in Kenosha. “There was no reason for seven shots to be fired into this man’s back while he had three kids in the car.”  The shooting occurred around 5 p.m. on Sunday as officers were responding to what they termed a “domestic incident.” Police immediately took the victim to a hospital, according to a Kenosha Police Department statement. Authorities gave no further explanation as to what led to the shooting.  Ben Crump, who said the Blake family had retained him and who has represented George Floyd’s family, said in a statement that Blake had been trying to de-escalate a domestic incident when the officers first shot him with a taser gun.

 

“As he was walking away to check on his children, police fired their weapons several times into his back at point blank range. Blake’s three sons were only a few feet away and witnessed police shoot their father,” Crump said.

 

The officers involved in the shooting have been placed on administrative leave while the investigation is underway, the Wisconsin Department of Justice said early on Monday, which is standard procedure in an officer-involved shooting.

 

The officers involved in the shooting have been placed on administrative leave while the investigation is underway, the Wisconsin Department of Justice said early on Monday, which is standard procedure in an officer-involved shooting.

 

                 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

I repeat, I do not condone violence, and I regret this incident precipitated such a response this time….yet one more time.

 

I don’t understand.  The world is watching.  Police officers know they are under more scrutiny than ever before at this very moment.  And yet, the over-reactions, the excessive use of force, the brutality, the disregard for the life of a man, a black man, continues.   A black man that was not presenting any outward threat to any of these officers.  We don’t know all the details yet, but was seven shots to the back necessary to subdue him??

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *