Police Abuse

Video Shows Cop Shooting Wisconsin Man in the Back 7 Times

Witnesses say Jacob Blake was breaking up a fight before an officer grabbed his shirt and shot him at close range.


Just a few months after the police killing of George Floyd sparked national protests, a cellphone video shows officers in Wisconsin repeatedly shooting a man in the back, leaving him in critical condition.

The short video, shot Sunday afternoon, shows members of the Kenosha Police Department (KPD) pointing a gun at Jacob Blake while he walks toward a vehicle. While Blake opens the door, an officer grabs his shirt and shoots him at close range, in the back, seven times. Blake slumps against the car horn while onlookers react in horror.

(Video may be disturbing to some viewers.)

The KPD released a vague statement about the incident, saying that the officers were responding to a domestic incident before shooting Blake. The department also said that the Wisconsin Department of Justice's Division of Criminal Investigation will investigate the shooting.

While details are still emerging, multiple witnesses told Kenosha News that Blake was intervening in a fight between two women when police arrived to break up the incident. Witnesses also said that officers attempted to use a Taser before shooting Blake and that Blake was unarmed at the time of the shooting.

After being shot, Blake was transported to Froedtert Hospital in Wauwatosa, where he is said to be in serious condition.

Reactions to the video were swift. Within hours, protesters gathered.

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reporter Meg Jones shared on-the-scene photos and videos of the reaction, some of which occurred in front of the KPD building. Jones captured city vehicles being set on fire and police using tear gas against the crowd.

The KPD announced a citywide curfew late Sunday evening.

Gov. Tony Evers wrote in a Facebook post, "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."