Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers, a Democrat, seemingly criticized law enforcement Sunday following an incident in which a Kenosha police officer shot an unarmed black man, Jacob Blake, seven times.
The incident, which happened Sunday evening and was captured on video, sparked protests and riots in the southern Wisconsin city.
What did Evers say?
Despite acknowledging that “we do not have all the details yet,” Evers still criticized law enforcement.
“Jacob Blake was shot in the back multiple times, in broad daylight, in Kenosha,” Evers began. “While we do not have all the details yet, what we know for certain is 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 in our country.”
The governor went on to say:
We stand with all those who have and continue to demand justice, equality and accountability for Black lives in our country — lives like those of George Floyd, of Breonna Taylor, Tony Robinson, Denise Hamilton, Earnest Lacy, and Sylville Smith. And we stand against excessive use of force and immediate escalation when engaging with Black Wisconsinites.
I have said all along that although we must offer our empathy, equally important is our action. In the coming days, we will demand just that of elected officials in our state who have failed to recognize the racism in our state and our country for far too long.
What happened with Blake?
Video of the incident shows several police officers surrounding Blake. The police were allegedly called to the scene in response to a domestic incident, WLS-TV reported. Witnesses said Blake had broken up a fight.
The video shows that Blake walked around a parked SUV as several police officers pointed their firearms at him. Blake then reached inside the vehicle. What followed were seven audible shots; it’s not clear whether only one of the police officers opened fire or multiple officers discharged their weapons.
When the gunfire happen, the video clearly shows that Blake’s back was facing the officers. An attorney representing Blake’s family said Blake’s three young sons were inside the vehicle when police shot him, CNN reported.
The Wisconsin Department of Justice Division of Criminal Investigation is investigating the shooting.
Blake did not die from his injuries; he was rushed to a Milwaukee hospital, where he remains in serious condition.