Jacob Blake, the black man shot in the back by Wisconsin police as his three young sons watched on, is now paralyzed from the waist down after his body was riddled with bullets, his father says.
Blake’s father, who is also named Jacob Blake, told the Chicago Sun-Times that his 29-year-old son now has ‘eight holes’ in his body after being gunned down by police in Kenosha on Sunday evening.
The elder Blake said his son is paralyzed from the waist down but doctors do not yet know if the paralysis will be permanent.
He said he learned Sunday night that officers had shot his son and that he saw the now-viral cellphone video of the incident online just a few minutes later. Blake’s father is driving from Charlotte, North Carolina to Wisconsin to be by his son’s side in hospital.
Blake is now in a stable condition in hospital after undergoing surgery.
Jacob Blake, the black man shot in the back by Wisonsin police on Sunday as his three young sons watched on, is now paralyzed from the waist down after his body was riddled with bullets, his father says. Blake is pictured above being treated just moments after the shooting
The police shooting of Blake in front of his three young sons has led to two nights of violent unrest in the city that is located between Milwaukee and Chicago
‘What justified all those shots?’ his father said. ‘What justified doing that in front of my grandsons? What are we doing?
‘I want to put my hand on my son’s cheek and kiss him on his forehead, and then I’ll be OK. I’ll kiss him with my mask. The first thing I want to do is touch my son.’
Anger over the shooting spilled into the streets of Kenosha for a second night on Monday, with police again firing tear gas at hundreds of protesters who defied a curfew, threw bottles and shot fireworks at law enforcement guarding the courthouse.
The city has become the nation’s latest flashpoint in a summer of racial unrest after cellphone footage of police shooting Blake – apparently in the back as he leaned into his SUV while his three children sat in the vehicle – circulated widely on social media.
The shooting drew condemnation from Democratic Gov. Tony Evers, who also called out 125 members of the National Guard on Monday after protesters set cars on fire, smashed windows and clashed with officers in riot gear the previous night.
The man who said he made the cellphone video, 22-year-old Raysean White, said he saw Blake scuffling with three officers and heard them yell: ‘Drop the knife! Drop the knife!’ before the gunfire erupted. He said he didn’t see a knife in Blake’s hands.
The governor said he has seen no information to suggest Blake had a knife or other weapon, but that the case is still being investigated by the state Justice Department.
A second cellphone video that emerged later appeared to show Blake wrestling with two officers beside the SUV prior to the shooting.
Blake managed to break free and was shown in the video walking to the driver’s side of his SUV.
Both videos show the moment Blake walked from the sidewalk around the front of his SUV to his driver-side door while officers followed him with their guns pointed as they shouted at him.
As Blake opened the door and leaned into the SUV, an officer grabbed his shirt from behind and opened fire while Blake had his back turned.
At least seven shots could be heard.
The officers were placed on administrative leave, which is standard practice in a shooting by police. Authorities released no details about the officers.
Kenosha police do not have body cameras but do have body microphones.
White, who said he made the video, said that before the gunfire, he looked out his window and saw six or seven women shouting at each other on the sidewalk.
A few moments later, Blake drove up in his SUV and told his son, who was standing nearby, to get in the vehicle, according to White. White said Blake did not say anything to the women.
White said he left the window for a few minutes, and when he came back, saw three officers wrestling with Blake. One punched Blake in the ribs, and another used a stun gun on him, White said. He said Blake got free and started walking away as officers yelled about a knife.
Civil rights attorney Ben Crump, representing Blake´s family, said Blake was ‘simply trying to do the right thing by intervening in a domestic incident.’
Police did not immediately confirm either man’s account.
Blake’s partner, Laquisha Booker, told WTMJ-TV that the couple’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,’ Booker said.
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