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New protest wave in US: Wisconsin police shoot Black man in front of his children

Author : 112.UA 112.UA

Source : 112 Ukraine

Jacob Blake, 29, has survived but is partially paralyzed and is in the hospital. He got seven shots in the back
12:00, 28 August 2020

AP photo

The echo of anti-racist protests that began in late May after the brutal murder of African American George Floyd by white policemen has not ended, while a new round of riots on the streets of one of the American cities ensued.

Mass demonstrations have already taken a deadly turn: during the night skirmishes, pistol shots killed two people and another was wounded.

The central government hastened to send security officials to the city, stressing that it would not tolerate "violence and lawlessness", while the protesters, meanwhile, received support from the players of the National Basketball Association (NBA), which has become unprecedented in the sports world.

Related: Massive protest unfurls in Wisconsin as police shot unarmed African American man

The policeman fired point-blank. Blake had no firearms

Little is known about the reasons of the incident that happened last Sunday, (August 23) in Kenosha, Wisconsin.

For example, here is the version of the lawyer Benjamin Crump, who represents the interests of the victim:

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The defense attorney clarified that the incident was witnessed by Blake's three sons, who were in the car during the shooting.

Other eyewitnesses in the Kenosha News commentary confirmed the lawyer's version, saying that Blake tried to end the quarrel between the two women.

According to them, at first, the police used a stun gun, and then at least seven shots were heard.

The Guardian has shared a video showing a black man walking away from the officers and bypassing the car to get inside. While he was driving an SUV, a police officer grabbed the man by the shirt, probably trying to hold him, and then shot him seven times at the point-blank range.

The video shows that Blake does not have a weapon in his hands, but a little later Euronews reported that a knife was found in his car.

More than fifty residents of nearby houses came to the sound of the shots - they chanted curses at the officers. As the crowd grew, law enforcement officers arrived at the scene.

In a press release from Kenosha police, which was released Sunday evening, it was said that law enforcement officers came to the call because of a "domestic quarrel."

No further information was provided about the shooting and its reasons.

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It is still unclear why there was a quarrel between the two women, who they were to Blake, and who called the police. By the way, the latter were suspended from work until all the circumstances were clarified.

The Office of Criminal Investigation, which is part of the Wisconsin Department of Justice, has promised to provide a report on the incident within 30 days.

Reference. Kenosha is a city with 100,000 residents, located on the shores of Lake Michigan between Chicago and Milwaukee.

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Arsons and collisions. The first victims

The demonstrations, which almost immediately escalated into riots, began on the very first night after the shooting and hospitalization of 29-year-old Jacob Blake.

 

First, people tried to break into the Kenoshi police building, demanding the arrest of the officers involved in the incident, and then clashes between protesters and law enforcement officers took place near the district court building.

The protesters burned cars, threw various objects at the police, to which the latter responded with tear gas.

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In the morning, Kenosha decided to impose a curfew. As indicated on Twitter by the city police department, the measure was taken "in connection with numerous cases of robbery and shooting in the streets."

Apparently, the protesters ignored the curfew. In one of the night clashes, two people were killed by pistol shots and another was injured. A 17-year-old white American from Illinois was detained on suspicion of premeditated murder.

Against this background, American leader Donald Trump announced his decision to send reinforcements from the security forces to the city.

According to him, the decision to reinforce Kenosha was made after the White House offered federal assistance to the Governor of Wisconsin, Tony Evers, and he agreed to it. Evers himself, according to the NBC15 television channel, initially refused support from Washington.

Blake's mother, commenting on the current situation in the city, said: "I have noticed a lot of destruction. This is not at all like the will of my son or my family."

Demonstrations against violence also swept in other American cities, such as Chicago, Portland (Oregon), Madison - the capital of Wisconsin, and Louisville (Kentucky).

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Who is Jacob Blake?

Jacob Blake is a father of six and worked as a private security guard. At the time of the shooting, his sons were 8, 5 and 3 years old in the car, reports the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

The victim's neighbors describe him as a friendly, cheerful person who is often seen with their children.

Immediately after the incident, Blake was taken to the hospital, where he was operated on. The bullets shattered some of the vertebrae and injured the spinal cord, which left the man paralyzed from the waist down. According to lawyer Benjamin Crump, it will take a miracle for Jacob to walk again.

He also suffered damage to several internal organs, which will require additional operations. Blake is now in stable condition.

Support for Blake and the protesters

Many celebrities and politicians have expressed outrage at the actions of the police.

US presidential candidate Joe Biden called for a full and transparent investigation into the incident.

American rapper Cardi B shared a video of the incident on her Instagram, leaving the following lines below it:

The actions of the police were also condemned by singer Demi Lovato, rapper 50 Cent, actor Justin H. Min, famous for his role as Ben Hargreaves in the Netflix Umbrella Academy, actor Michael Jordan, Grammy-winning singer Ariana Grande, model Haley Bieber and others ...

In protest against the shooting at the African American, the National Basketball Association (NBA) has suspended playoff matches of the season.

It all started when the Milwaukee Bucks boycotted the fifth playoff game with the Orlando Magic, and after them the basketball players of Houston, Oklahoma, Portland and Lakers refused to play

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"To hell with all this, we demand change. I'm sick of it!" - LeBron James, the leader of the Lakers, wrote on Twitter.

The boycott was also joined by a Japanese tennis player, former world number one in women's singles, Naomi Osaka.

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