A state of emergency has been declared in #Kenosha, #Wisconsin, after the city’s police shot an apparently unarmed man in the back SEVEN times – as his three sons watched.
Two lots of bone-chilling footage of Sunday’s incident, which happened in broad daylight, show #JacobBlake, 29, on his knees next to his car, surrounded by police officers. He then gets up and walks around the car, followed by officers, before trying to get in the driver’s side.
At this point an officer grabs him by his shirt and unloads seven rounds into his back. There is no sign of a weapon in Blake’s hands. Blake’s children were in the car.
The films caused widespread shock and condemnation on social media. In Kenosha, people reacted with anger, protest and violence, with missiles and Molotov cocktails hurled at police and buildings set ablaze.
Comparisons have unsurprisingly been made to the killing of George Floyd in May and the ongoing reaction to his murder. But what are the similarities?
Facts are still thin on the ground but police say they were called to a domestic incident. Witness statements suggest that Blake was trying to break up a fight between two women. Others say he was at a gathering for one of his son’s birthdays.
Blake being on his knees suggests that, like Floyd, police were trying to arrest or contain him.
There have also been people quick to hunt to see if Blake has a criminal past, like Floyd.
Nothing has been confirmed, although there is an open arrest warrant for a man of the same name and similar age on accusations of ‘misdemeanor criminal trespass to a dwelling with domestic abuse as a modifier; felony third-degree sexual assault with domestic abuse as a modifier; and misdemeanor disorderly conduct with domestic abuse as a modifier.’
There is also a 2015 report by the Racine Eye newspaper of a 24-year-old Jacob Blake being charged with ‘one felony count of resisting arrest causing a soft tissue injury to a police officer and one misdemeanor count each of carrying a concealed weapon, carrying a firearm while intoxicated, endangering safety-use of a dangerous weapon, and disorderly conduct.’
None of these alleged offences carries the death penalty.
Blake is currently in a critical condition in hospital and many will hope that he doesn’t suffer Floyd’s ultimate fate.
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