The shooting of a black man by Wisconsin police on Sunday night was filmed, prompting immediate reactions on social media, protests and an investigation by the Department of Justice.
On Monday, police deployed tear gas in an attempt to disperse hundreds of people who took to the streets after the crash.
Officers from the Kenosha Police Department responded to a domestic incident shortly after 5 p.m. and “they were involved in a policeman involved in the shooting,” KPD said in a press release. The man who was shot, identified by Governor Tony Evers as Jacob Blake, was airlifted to a Milwaukee hospital and is in serious condition, police said.
In a statement earlier Monday, the Wisconsin Justice Department said officers involved in the shooting had been placed on administrative leave. According to the statement, the state’s Criminal Investigation Division is investigating the shooting and will seek to “provide a report of the incident to the prosecutor within 30 days.”
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The statement provided by the state Department of Justice does not identify the officers. It also does not indicate why officers confronted Blake at the scene.
“DCI is conducting this investigation and is assisted by the Wisconsin State Patrol and the Kenosha County Sheriff’s Office,” the DOJ said. “All law enforcement agencies involved are fully cooperating with DCI during this investigation.”
The incident almost immediately caused unrest in the city about 40 miles south of Milwaukee.
Kenosha County has declared an emergency curfew for 10:15 p.m. On Sunday, a press release read: “The public should be removed from the streets for their own safety”. The curfew is in effect until 7 a.m. on Monday.
A crowd of about 100 people reached the Kenosha County Public Security building at 10:15 p.m. and they sang “no justice, no peace”. A line of police lined up the building and confronted the crowd, pushing them away from the building.
Police then detonated tear gas, dispersing the crowd.
At 11:15 p.m., a city dump truck that had been positioned to prevent traffic from heading towards the police department was completely engulfed in fire. Some people walked up to take pictures until someone yelled that the gas tank could explode.
By midnight, the crowd had fallen to a few hundred people standing in the square next to the courthouse, watching the city’s dump trucks burst into flames. When one of the tires exploded, a loud bang was heard, dispersing the crowd again.
The release of the police department offered little additional information, but a graphic video circulating on social media showed a man shot multiple times. Video shows Blake walking towards a car and is followed by an officer with a gun in his hand.
Blake opens the car door and walks over to the vehicle and an officer pulls his shirt off.
At least seven shots can be heard in the video, followed by a horn. Two officers can be seen in the video near the car; what happened before the video was recorded is unclear.