A video has emerged showing a Wisconsin police officer being apparently knocked out with a brick during overnight riots that were sparked by the shooting of an unarmed black father at the hands of a white cop.
Jacob Blake was shot in the back seven times at close range in front of his children after police arrived responded to a call about a domestic dispute in Kenosha at around 5pm on Sunday.
Unrest and looting erupted in the wake of the shooting, which culminated with a police officer purportedly being attacked with a brick.
Viral video that has been circulating on social media shows the unnamed cop in a tactical vest collapse to the ground face down while walking away from a Molotov cocktail explosion.
The scene in the video appears chaotic, with fires burning around a patrol car and a crowd of people clashing with police, shouting obscenities and recording the unrest on their cellphones.
It is unclear from the blurry recording who struck the officer. A figure could be seen standing next to the patrol vehicle when the cop is knocked down, but it is impossible to make out the person’s facial features.
At least three of the injured officer’s colleagues rushed to his side and dragged him to safety.
‘He just got bricked!’ someone in the crowd exclaimed, followed by cheers and jubilant screams of ‘f*** the police!’
Kenosha News reported that shouts of ‘officer down!’ were heard on the police scanner.
It is unknown at this time how seriously the officer was hurt in the attack. The Kenosha Police Department has not named him and has not commented on his condition.
Blake, 29, was rushed to a hospital in serious condition. Early Monday, family members posted that Blake was stable at the ICU in Froedtert Hospital, Milwaukee.
Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers issued a statement denouncing ‘excessive use of force’ by police.
Pete Deates, president of the Kenosha police union, called Evers’ statement ‘wholly irresponsible.’
‘As always, the video currently circulating does not capture all the intricacies of a highly dynamic incident,’ Deates said in a statement. ‘We ask that you withhold from passing judgment until all the facts are known and released.’
As video of the shooting quickly went viral, protesters took to the streets of Kenosha, where police are on high alert.
Video obtained from TMX.News shows a large crowd numbering hundreds of protesters gathered outside a Kenosha police station chanting ‘Black Lives Matter’ and other slogans denouncing law enforcement.
Demonstrators set fire to vehicles and smashed police cruiser windows as they faced off with police, who set off tear gas canisters to try to disperse the crowd.
A curfew was issued for Monday evening in Kenosha County. It goes into effect at 8pm and expires at 7am on Tuesday.
The shooting happened at around 5pm as officers were responding to a ‘domestic incident,’ the Kenosha Police Department said in a news release.
In the video, three officers could be seen shouting and pointing their weapons at Blake, who walked around the front of an SUV parked on the street.
As Blake opened the driver’s side door and leaned inside, one officer grabbed his shirt from behind and then fired into the vehicle.
At least seven shots could be heard, though it was unclear if more than one officer fired.
Blake’s three children were inside the SUV and watched as their father was gunned down, the family’s attorney, prominent civil rights lawyer Ben Crump, confirmed.
Several witnesses said that Blake tried to break up a fight between two women outside a nearby home, according to Kenosha News.
Before resorting to gunfire, the police attempted to subdue Blake with a Taser, to no avail, it was reported.
Laquisha Booker, who is Blake’s partner, told NBC’s Milwaukee affiliate, WTMJ-TV, that her and Blake’s three children were in the back seat of the SUV when police shot him.
‘That man just literally grabbed him by his shirt and looked the other way and was just shooting him. With the kids in the back screaming. Screaming,’
Crump said Blake was ‘simply trying to do the right thing by intervening in a domestic incident.’ Police did not immediately return messages seeking details on the dispute.
Benjamin Crump shared video of the incident on his Twitter feed, and confirmed today he is now representing Blake’s family, and will ‘demand answers’ from police.
‘We all watched the horrific video of Jacob Blake being shot in the back several times by Kenosha Police. Even worse, his three sons witnessed their father collapse after being riddled with bullets.
‘Their irresponsible, reckless and inhumane actions nearly cost the life of a man who was simply trying to do the right thing by intervening in a domestic incident. It’s a miracle he’s alive.’
Crump is the attorney who represents the family of George Floyd, the 46-year-old black man who died in the custody of Minneapolis police in late May.
Floyd’s death ignited massive nationwide protests and rioting as millions took to the streets over the course of several weeks to demand the police officers responsible be tried and convicted.
Online court records indicate Kenosha County prosecutors charged Blake on July 6 with third-degree sexual assault, trespassing and disorderly conduct in connection with domestic abuse. An arrest warrant was issued for Blake the following day. The records contain no further details.
Following the shooting, neighbors could be seen gathering in the streets and hurling comments at police. Some could be heard chanting, ‘No justice, no peace.’
Several protesters jumped on top of police squad cars and smashed windows.
One video circulating on social media shows a row of protesters walking toward a line of police officers clad in riot gear as simmering tensions threaten to escalate the situation.
A dump truck that was parked at an intersection to prevent traffic from moving toward the police department was set on fire.
Several curious onlookers got close to the burning truck and started taking pictures, but others warned them that the fire could lead to an explosion and warned them to back away.
At 11:05pm, police formed a cordon around the front doors of the police station and then fired tear gas canisters in an effort to disperse a large crowd that had gathered there.
‘No justice, no peace!’ the crowd was heard chanting.
A man could be seen breaking the window of a patrol car parked along the street.
Some police officers were positioned on the roof of the station as people continued toward the building.
Outside the station, protesters faced off with officers who were dressed in riot gear that included plastic face masks and held plastic shields and batons that they occasionally used to push people back.
A truck that was parked outside the courthouse in Kenosha was also set on fire.
Kenosha Police referred all questions to the Wisconsin Department of Justice, which did not immediately respond to messages seeking to confirm details of the video.
The Kenosha Sheriff´s Department and Wisconsin State Patrol were requested at the scene so another law enforcement agency could take over, police said in the news release.
The city of Kenosha is located on Lake Michigan, about 40 miles south of Milwaukee.
A Kenosha Police Department dispatcher referred calls by The Associated Press to the Wisconsin Department of Justice, the agency that will be investigating the shooting.
A message left with DOJ was not immediately returned.
Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers released a statement regarding the shooting late Sunday evening.
‘Tonight, Jacob Blake was shot in the back multiple times, in broad daylight, in Kenosha, Wisconsin,’ the statement read.
‘Kathy and I join his family, friends, and neighbors in hoping earnestly that he will not succumb to his injuries.
A massive crowd is currently gathering in front of the Kenosha Police Station, hours after cops shot Jacob Blake https://t.co/7fdcnjNtD4
‘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.’
The governor continued: ‘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.
‘And we stand against excessive use of force and immediate escalation when engaging with Black Wisconsinites.’