Sunday evening, Jacob Blake was “breaking up a fight between two women” in Kenosha (WI), according to Black’s lawyer. Police arrived, followed Blake to his car where his children were waiting, and shot Blake in the back seven times as he learned into the car. Sunday was the birthday of one of the children. Blake is now paralyzed from the waist down with kidney, liver, stomach, colon, and spinal cord injuries. A man across the street who videoed the tragedy said he heard the women arguing when Blake arrived. Before he was shot, Blake told the police a knife was in the car under the driver’s side mat.
Protests in the town of 100,000 has faced protests for three nights, and last night a 17-year-old has been charged with shooting three people, killing two of them. Kyle Rittenhouse, a self-identified militia member from Antioch (IL), was one of several armed men, but Wisconsin’s open carry law is only for people 18 years and older. On a video, Rittenhouse runs down the street to avoid apprehension, falls, and then shoots at people behind him trying to disarm him. Bystanders yelled at police about the shooter who walked toward them with his hands up, but law enforcement ignored them and drove on. Another video showed law enforcement officials giving water to the group of armed men, apparently encouraging their presence. At a press conference today, Kenosha’s police chief justified Rittenhouse’s killing by saying it wouldn’t have happened if protesters weren’t out after curfew.
Rittenhouse’s Facebook page, no longer available, displayed photos of Blue Lives Matter pro-police slogans and images including a rifle like the one he used for the shooting. He was also in the front row at a Des Moines (IA) DDT rally earlier this year just feet from DDT. Police believe Rittenhouse was a member of a group of armed men wanting to be deputized.