Fresh clashes erupted after police shoot black man in Wisconsin

Fresh clashes erupted after police shoot black man in Wisconsin
Officers fired tear gas amid clashes with protesters. Source: EPA
3 Min Read

Daily US Times: There have been clashes for a second night in Wisconsin, with cars and buildings set alight, following the police shooting of a black man on Sunday.

The 29-year-old Jacob Blake is in a stable condition after he was shot several times as he went to a car and opened its door in the city of Kenosha.

Tony Evers, the governor of the state has called up the National Guard to aid local police.

The killing of black man George Floyd in Minnesota in May led to protests across the country against racism and police brutality.

Demonstrations across the nation and in many cities internationally put a spotlight on the treatment of African-Americans by US law enforcement and sparked a wider reflection on racism in society.

Video footage of the Kenosha shooting shows Mr Blake leaning into the car and an officer grabbing his shirt, with seven shots heard. The video was taken from across the street and shared on social media.

A curfew has been in effect in Kenosha from 20:00 local time (01:00 GMT) and will last until 07:00 on Tuesday – but some protesters have already defied it.

What is the police and government response?

Governor Evers said in a press release that the “limited mobilisation” of the National Guard – made at the request of local officials – was to help law enforcement “protect critical infrastructure” and make sure people could demonstrate safely.

According to local media reports, up to 200 members of the National Guard have been deployed.

Some protesters tried to force their way into Kenosha’s public safety building earlier in the day, demanding that the officers involved in the shooting be arrested. A door was broken off its hinges before law-enforcement members in riot gear used pepper spray to disperse the crowd.

On Sunday night, hundreds of people had also marched on police headquarters to demonstrate against the shooting.

Democratic governor Evers has condemned the shooting, saying Mr Blake was “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,” but he has faced criticism for this response.
Pete Deates, head of Kenosha’s police union, said Mr Evers’ statement was “wholly irresponsible” and said people should wait until all facts were known.

Mr Evers has also said there will be a special session of the state legislature on 31 August to discuss a package of laws announced earlier this year on accountability and transparency of the police following the police killing of George Floyd.