Aug. 25: Jacob Blake Not Likely To Walk Again After Police Shooting, Lawyer Says

Aug 25, 2020

Anger over the shooting of a Black man by police has spilled into the streets of Kenosha for a third evening. The southeastern Wisconsin city became the nation's latest flashpoint in a summer of racial unrest after cellphone footage of police shooting Jacob Blake — apparently in the back, as he leaned into his SUV while his three children sat in the vehicle — circulated widely on social media Sunday. The 29-year-old was hospitalized in serious condition.

>>Find all of WUWM's Kenosha protest coverage here.

Read previous days' coverage here:

>> Monday, Aug. 24
>> Sunday, Aug. 23

WUWM is providing updates as events unfold and information on the incident is released.

9 p.m.: Third Evening Of Protests In Kenosha

The 8 p.m. Kenosha County curfew is in effect, and hundreds of protesters are gathered outside of the Kenosha County Courthouse. Protests prompted by the police shooting of Jacob Blake have been taking place in the city since Sunday.

Fencing, erected Tuesday, surrounds the courthouse. Around 8:45 p.m., protesters began rocking the fence. A firework was thrown into the fenced-off area where law enforcement and National Guard members gathered outside of the courthouse. They responded with tear gas and a sound cannon.

Law enforcement in heavy vehicles ask protesters to return home.

- Michelle Maternowski, Chuck Quirmbach

4:16 p.m.: Lawyer: Blake Not Likely To Walk Again After Police Shooting

The family attorney for a Black man shot by police in Wisconsin said Tuesday that Jacob Blake is paralyzed and it would “take a miracle” for him to walk again.

The shooting of Blake on Sunday in Kenosha, apparently in the back, was captured on cellphone video and ignited new protests over racial injustice in several cities, just three months after the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police touched off a wider reckoning on race.

“They shot my son seven times, seven times, like he didn’t matter,” said Blake’s father, who is also named Jacob Blake and who spoke to reporters alongside other family members and lawyers. “But my son matters. He’s a human being and he matters.”

The 29-year-old was in surgery, said attorney Ben Crump, adding that the bullets severed Blake’s spinal cord and shattered his vertebrae.

“It’s going to take a miracle for Jacob Blake Jr. to ever walk again,” Crump said.

Jacob Blake’s father, who is also named Jacob Blake, spoke to reporters alongside other family members and lawyers.
Credit Chuck Quirmbach

Another Blake family attorney said they would be filing a civil lawsuit against the police department over the shooting. Police have said little about what happened, other than that they were responding to a domestic dispute. The Wisconsin Department of Justice is investigating.

After a night during which protests devolved into unrest, Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers called for calm, while also saying the National Guard presence would be doubled from 125 to 250 in Kenosha. Crowds destroyed dozens of buildings and set more than 30 fires on Monday night.

Blake’s mother, Julia Jackson, said the damage in Kenosha does not reflect the feelings of her family and if her son could see it, he would be “very unpleased.”

Three of the younger Blake's sons — aged 3, 5 and 8 — were in the car at the time of the shooting, Crump said. It was the 8-year-old's birthday, Crump said.

Blake's father is slated to speak at a March on Washington commemoration on Friday organized by the Rev. Al Sharpton. His father and the victim’s grandfather, Jacob Blake Sr., was a prominent minister and civil rights leader in the Chicago area in the 1960s.

The man who said he made the cellphone video of the shooting, 22-year-old Raysean White, said he saw Blake scuffling with three officers and heard them yell, “Drop the knife! Drop the knife!” before the gunfire erupted. He said he didn’t see a knife in Blake’s hands.

In the footage, Blake walks from the sidewalk around the front of his SUV to his driver-side door as officers follow him with their guns drawn and shout at him. As Blake opens the door and leans into the SUV, an officer grabs his shirt from behind and opens fire while Blake has his back turned. Seven shots can be heard, though it isn’t clear how many struck Blake or how many officers fired.

Since the shooting, anger has spilled into the streets of Kenosha and other cities, including Los Angeles, Wisconsin's capital of Madison and in Minneapolis, the epicenter of the Black Lives Matter movement this summer following Floyd's death.

- Associated Press

3:07 p.m.: Evers Declares State Of Emergency After Protests Turn Destructive

Gov. Tony Evers declared a state of emergency in Wisconsin Tuesday after two nights of uproar over the Kenosha police shooting of Jacob Blake, a Black man.

There have been peaceful protests, but demonstrations turned violent and destructive in Kenosha Sunday and Monday night.

In a press release, Evers said the state of emergency “directs state agencies to continue assisting the state response, and calls to state active duty additional elements of the Wisconsin National Guard to support first responders and protect critical infrastructure and cultural institutions.”

Evers said the Wisconsin National Guard presence in Kenosha will increase to 250 members Tuesday, and will adjust depending on the needs of local first responders.

- Emily Files

2:06 p.m.: Kenosha Officials Order Curfew For Third Night

The Kenosha County Sheriff’s Department announced an 8 p.m. curfew for Kenosha County for the third night in a row Tuesday, according to a press release. The curfew will be in place until 7 a.m. Wednesday. 

- Lauren Sigfusson

2 p.m.: Evers Urges Protesters To Be Peaceful, Will Increase National Guard Presence

Gov. Tony Evers released a statement Tuesday urging an end to looting and destruction that took place in Kenosha amid protests over the police shooting of Jacob Blake.

“Everyone should be able to exercise their fundamental right — whether a protester or a member of the press — peacefully and safely," Evers said. "We cannot allow the cycle of systemic racism and injustice to continue. We also cannot continue going down this path of damage and destruction.”

On Monday night and Tuesday morning, unrest led to more than 30 fires at businesses and other buildings in Kenosha, according to the Kenosha News. Live video streams of the protests Monday night showed protesters throwing water bottles at police in riot gear, and police using tear gas against protesters.

Evers sent National Guard troops to Kenosha Monday to help protect against destruction. In his statement Tuesday, the governor said the National Guard presence would be increased.

“Tonight, and in the days ahead, if you are going to protest, please do so peacefully and safely,” Evers said. “Please do not allow the actions of a few distract us from the work we must do together to demand justice, equity, and accountability.”

- Emily Files

7:35 a.m.: Jacob Blake Paralyzed From Waist Down, Father Says

The father of Jacob Blake, the Black man shot by Kenosha police, told Chicago Sun-Times that his son is paralyzed from the waist down.

Blake's father, also named Jacob Blake, told the paper there are “eight holes” in his son’s body, and that doctors don’t yet know if his paralyzation is permanent.

- Associated Press, Michelle Maternowski