Two protesters have been fatally shot and one wounded in Kenosha, Wisconsin by a member of a white armed militia, police say. The New York Times reports that Kenosha County Sheriff David Beth said the shootings might have occurred during a dispute between protesters — who are rallying in support of Jacob Blake — and armed men who said they were protecting businesses.
Blake was conscious as of Tuesday (Aug. 25), but is partially paralyzed from the waist down due to one of the bullets severing his spinal cord. As reported by REVOLT, the 29-year-old Black man’s parents addressed activists in a press conference yesterday (Aug. 25).
“Citizens, police officers, firemen, clergy, politicians: do Jacob justice on this level and examine your hearts,” Blake’s mother Julia Jackson said. “We need healing. As I pray for my son’s healing — physically, emotionally and spiritually — I also have been praying even before this for the healing of our country.”
“They shot my son seven times. Seven times, like he didn’t matter,” his father added tearfully. “But my son matters; he’s a human being and he matters.”
An investigation into Blake’s shooting is currently being handled by the Wisconsin Division of Criminal Investigation, although the department has not offered any new information, such as the names of the officers involved.
“They can be very aggressive,” James Hall — president of the Urban League of Racine and Kenosha — said of local cops. “Police officers draw guns a lot here just with routine traffic stops.”
“A lot of these guys are nice guys. However — when they put their uniform on — they can transform into different people and it could just be the culture that they have to participate in just to keep their job,” Hall said, adding that “they don’t approach the situation with a de-escalation format.”
The officers involved in Blake’s shooting were reportedly placed on administrative leave earlier this week.