Law & the Courts

Protests Erupt in Wisconsin after Police Shoot Black Man

Police tape at a crime scene in Chicago, Ill., in 2017. (Joshua Lott/Reuters)

Violent protests erupted in Kenosha, Wis. Sunday night after local police shot a black man while responding to a domestic violence call, prompting officials in the city to issue a curfew until 7 a.m. Monday. 

A video circulating online shows a man walking to a van followed by two police officers with weapons drawn. As the man tries to get into the van, an officer appears to grab him by the shirt and fires several shots at close range into his back. 

The man, who has been identified at Jacob Blake, is in serious condition at Froedtert Hospital in Milwaukee as of early Monday morning, the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reported. 

The police department has issued a statement confirming the shooting, which occurred when police responded to a domestic violence call just after 5 p.m. Sunday. 

Democratic governor Tony Evers issued a statement late Sunday saying Blake was “shot in the back multiple times, in broad daylight” and promising that he would hold police accountable.

“While we do not have all of the details yet, what we know for certain is that 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 our country,” he said.

While the state’s department of justice said early Monday that the involved officers have been placed on administrative leave, violent protests have erupted in the city leading officials to issue a curfew until 7 a.m. on Monday. Police requested that businesses consider staying closed “due to numerous arm robbers and shots fired calls.” 

A large crowd of protestors formed at the scene of the shooting and began setting small fires in the street. One video appears to show a police officer being knocked out while someone says, “He got bricked,” the Journal-Sentinel reported. 

Rioters then headed to the Kenosha County Public Safety Building. Though authorities had already mostly blocked off the building, confrontations between police and protestors ensued.

Videos of a dump truck in flames and a protestor breaking the window of a patrol car were shared online. A fire was also set outside the city’s courthouse, which was also graffitied, the Journal-Sentinel reported. 


“Things have been very heated, tons of damage to cop cars, an officer was actually knocked out,” one person filming said, according to the paper.

The lakefront city is the latest to face unrest and protests in the wake of the racial reckoning sparked by George Floyd’s death in May. 

The sheriff’s department and Wisconsin State Patrol have taken over the scene. The state’s department of justice and its division of criminal investigation will investigate the shooting.

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