Wisconsin’s Democratic Gov. Tony Evers called in the National Guard on Monday as protests over the shooting of a 29-year-old Black man, Jacob Blake, spilled into a second night. Hundreds of demonstrators were on the streets in the lakeside city of Kenosha, which sits in between Milwaukee and Chicago, after police fired seven times from close range on Blake as he tried to get into the driver’s seat of his car. A video of the incident taken by a neighbor shows the shooting in broad daylight on a residential block where Blake, a security guard, appears to be a resident.
The officers had responded to a domestic disturbance that Blake reportedly helped diffuse, breaking up an altercation between two women. Neighbors expressed shock when Blake was then shot while walking away from police while his three young children, all under the age of 8, sat inside the car. Blake was taken to the hospital, and family members say he is paralyzed from the waist down but expected to survive. The officers were placed on administrative leave.
The shooting, which took place on Sunday afternoon, lead to unrest that evening, which intensified Monday. Protesters gathered around the city courthouse around 6:30 p.m. on Monday and were met by police in riot gear as a citywide 8 p.m. curfew grew near. “Kenosha police on Monday used tear gas and fired small beanbags at a crowd that threw firecrackers, tore down street signs, smashed storefronts and set fires around the city,” the Washington Post reports. “By early Tuesday morning, the National Guard rolled through the streets as multiple buildings burned to the ground and looters ransacked stores. The fires not only destroyed local businesses—a cellphone store, a tattoo parlor, a furniture store, a Mexican grocery—they also forced out residents who lived on the second floors of the nearly century-old brick buildings.”
This post was updated with new information about Jacob Blake’s health as it became available.