Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers condemned the shooting, saying in a statement that Blake "was shot in the back multiple times, in broad daylight."
"While we do not have all of the details yet, what we know for certain is that he is not the first Black man or person to have been shot or injured or mercilessly killed at the hands of individuals in law enforcement in our state or our country," Evers added.
"We stand with all those who have and continue to demand justice, equity, and accountability for Black lives in our country—lives like those of George Floyd, of Breonna Taylor, Tony Robinson, Dontre Hamilton, Ernest Lacy, and Sylville Smith," added Evers. "And we stand against excessive use of force and immediate escalation when engaging with Black Wisconsinites."
Pete Deates, president of the Kenosha Professional Police Association, termed the governor's comments about the incident "wholly irresponsible and not reflective of the hardworking members of the law enforcement community," but endorsed the state justice department's independent investigation.
"Anytime deadly force is used, our hearts go out to those affected by it," Deates said in his statement. "Until that investigation is completed, we ask that you withhold prejudgment about the incident and please the let process take place."
Blake's father said his son, a father of six children between ages three and 13, grew up a “happy little dude” in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, and moved in middle school to Evanston, Illinois, where Jacob Blake's grandfather, The Rev. Jacob Blake Sr., advocated for affordable housing and pastored the Ebenezer African Methodist Episcopal Church.
Jacob Blake has lived in Kenosha for about three years, said his father said.
“If you were in need of something and my son had it, he would not hesitate to give it to you,” his father said. “He’s a very giving individual.”
The officers who shot Blake were “the flint as well as the gasoline,” igniting the violence that has unfolded over two nights in Kenosha, said his father.
“Those police officers that shot my son like a dog in the street are responsible for everything that has happened in the city of Kenosha,” he said. “My son is not responsible for it. My son didn’t have a weapon. He didn’t have a gun.”
A GoFundMe page has been launched be benefit Blake.
To help combat systemic racism, consider learning from or donating to these organizations:
•Campaign Zero (joincampaignzero.org) which works to end police brutality in America through research-proven strategies.
•ColorofChange.org works to make government more responsive to racial disparities.
•National Cares Mentoring Movement (caresmentoring.org) provides social and academic support to help Black youth succeed in college and beyond.
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