Aug 24, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Wisconsin on the brink after cop shoots Black man

Police and protesters
Protesters confront Kenosha County deputies last night. Photo: Mike De Sisti/Milwaukee Journal Sentinel via Reuters

The next name you'll hear: Jacob Blake, 29, who is in serious condition after being shot seven times in the back by police officers while reaching into his car in Kenosha, Wisconsin.

Why it matters: Black men are shot by white police officers at a disproportionate rate, and justice for these shootings is often scarce — or only initiated after mass protests and unrest.

  • Blake's kids — ages 3, 5 and 8 — were in the vehicle as he was shot.
  • The city was put under an emergency curfew last night after protests swept the city.
  • Both officers involved in the shooting have been placed on administrative leave.

Driving the news: About 125 members of the Wisconsin National Guard are expected to be deployed on Monday night to Kenosha, which is again under an 8 p.m. curfew.

The big picture: 2020 may eventually be remembered as the year public perception started to shift on structural racism, but the list of Black people shot by police officers continues to grow.

  • "The police want everybody to know they're out here to protect and serve, but you guys are constantly giving us — Black people, in particular — reasons not to let you guys protect and serve," witness Raysean White told CNN.
  • "We don't want you guys around because we are scared for our lives. You come to an incident to disarm an argument, and this Black man gets shot. It wasn't supposed to go down that."

"These shots pierce the soul of our nation," Democratic nominee Joe Biden said in a statement. "Jill and I pray for Jacob’s recovery and for his children."

  • "Equal justice has not been real for Black Americans and so many others. We are at an inflection point. We must dismantle systemic racism. It is the urgent task before us."

Go deeper: The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel's coverage

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