Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers declared a state of emergency on Tuesday as protestors clashed with the police for the third consecutive night, following the shooting of an unarmed African-American man by the police last week, Reuters reported.
The governor also said that he would bring in more National Guard personnel to Kenosha to control the violent protests. Some protestors set cars on fire and flouted curfews and the police used tear gas to control them. There were also several reports of armed robberies.
The police shot the man, identified as Jacob Blake, multiple times on Sunday evening in Kenosha town. In a video footage shared on social media, three officers were seen pointing their weapons at Blake as he walked around a parked car. As he opened the door and leaned into the car, an officer grabbed his shirt and fired.
According to Blake’s lawyer Ben Crump, his children – aged three, five and eight – were in the car when he was shot by the police. He also said that there was no indication that Blake was carrying any weapons.
Blake’s family said on Tuesday that he was left paralysed by the attack and was fighting for his life. “They shot my son seven times,” Blake’s father Jacob Blake Sr was quoted as saying by Reuters. “Seven times! Like he didn’t matter. My son matters. He’s a human being and he matters.” Blake’s mother Julia Jackson appealed to the protestors to not resort to violence.
Blake’s lawyer added that he would need a “miracle” to be able to walk again. “His [Blake’s] family believe in miracles, but the medical diagnosis right now is that he is paralysed and, because those bullets severed his spinal cord and shattered some of his vertebrae, it is going to take a miracle for Jacob Blake Jr [junior] to ever walk again,” he was quoted as saying by BBC.
The US has been witnessing massive anti-racism protests since May, following the death of George Floyd. On May 25, Floyd, an unarmed and handcuffed African-American man, was killed after a white former police officer Derek Chauvin knelt on his neck for almost nine minutes. Chauvin has pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder and manslaughter. Three other officers involved in Floyd’s death – J Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane and Tou Thao – were also charged with aiding and abetting both second-degree murder and manslaughter. Another African-American man named Rayshard Brooks was shot dead by the police in June.