Kenosha Police Shooting of Black Man Is Investigated by Wisconsin Authorities


The Wisconsin Department of Justice is investigating the police shooting on Sunday of a Black man in Kenosha, Wis., as he opened the door of a parked vehicle on a residential street, officials said.

The man was identified as Jacob Blake by Gov. Tony Evers of Wisconsin. He was in “serious condition” at a Milwaukee hospital, according to a statement from the state Department of Justice early Monday morning.

As night fell, large crowds of demonstrators faced off against police officers, videos on social media showed. In one video, several empty trucks are seen on fire. Around midnight, the city of Kenosha issued a curfew until 7 a.m., and the county said Monday the courthouse would be closed because of “damage sustained during last night’s civil unrest.”

Mr. Evers said on Twitter on Sunday night that Mr. Blake had been “shot in the back multiple times” and that the governor stood “against excessive use of force and immediate escalation when engaging with Black Wisconsinites.”

The state Department of Justice said that its Division of Criminal Investigation was leading the investigation into the shooting. The officers involved were placed on administrative leave, its statement said.

It also said that the division “aims to provide a report of the incident to the prosecutor within 30 days” to determine whether to file any charges.

The episode began just after 5 p.m. in Kenosha, about 40 miles south of Milwaukee, when police officers “responded to a reported domestic incident,” according to the statement.

A video taken by a bystander and posted on social media appears to show what took place moments before the shooting.

In the video, several officers can be seen standing on a sidewalk next to a four-door S.U.V. The man identified as Mr. Blake, wearing a white tank top and black shorts, walks along the passenger side of the vehicle, away from the officers as they yell and as at least one of them points a gun at him.

Mr. Blake walks around the front of the vehicle and opens the driver-side door. Numerous people can be heard yelling, and one officer grabs the man’s shirt. As he opens the door, at least half a dozen shots can be heard while at least two officers can be seen with their guns pointed at him. The video, which is about 20 seconds long, ends shortly after the shooting.

Michael Bell Sr., who has advocated police reform in Kenosha since his son was fatally shot by a police officer in 2004, said someone had sent him the video of the shooting. “I’m going to withhold my judgment until we see all the facts in this case but it looks pretty bad,” he said.



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