KENOSHA, Wis. (NewsNation) — Protesters clashed with police in Kenosha, one night after amateur video showed an officer shooting a Black man several times in the back at close range.
Police deployed gas at protesters who were out past a city-imposed curfew, The Associated Press reported. Meanwhile, people threw bottles and shot fireworks at law enforcement guarding the courthouse.
Police in the southeastern Wisconsin city said at least one officer shot 29-year-old Jacob Blake as he began to enter his SUV. In the social media video recorded from across the street, you can hear seven gun shots.
Blake was last reported in serious condition at a Milwaukee hospital.
Kenosha Police said they initially responded to the home after a caller reported some sort of domestic dispute.
Blake’s attorney said his client was trying to de-escalate a fight between two women and that his three children were inside the SUV during the shooting.
Democratic Gov. Tony Evers called out 125 members of the National Guard on Monday after protesters set cars on fire, smashed windows and clashed with officers in riot gear the previous night.
Police first fired tear gas Monday about 30 minutes after the 8 p.m. curfew took effect to disperse protesters who chanted, “No justice, no peace” as they confronted a line of officers who wore protective gear and stood shoulder-to-shoulder in front of the courthouse entrance. But hundreds of people stuck around, screaming at police and lighting fires, including to a garbage truck near the courthouse, The Associated Press reported.
NewsNation reporter Brónagh Tumulty reported several people told her police had fired tear gas shortly before 10 p.m. (CT).
Police have not said why the officer opened fire. They also have not shared any information about the reported domestic dispute. The three officers who responded are on administrative leave, according to law enforcement officials, while the Wisconsin Department of Justice investigates. The leave is standard procedure.
The man who said he made the cellphone video, 22-year-old Raysean White, said he saw Blake scuffling with three officers and heard them yell, “Drop the knife! Drop the knife!” before the gunfire erupted. He said he didn’t see a knife in Blake’s hands, The Associated Press reported.
The governor said he has seen no information to suggest Blake had a knife or other weapon, but that the case is still being investigated by the state Justice Department.
The police union said the governor was rushing to judgment.
“As always, the video currently circulating does not capture all the intricacies of a highly dynamic incident,” Pete Deates, president of the Kenosha police union, said in a statement. He called the governor’s statement “wholly irresponsible.”
The shooting happened around 5 p.m. (CT) Sunday and was captured from across the street on the video posted online. Kenosha police do not have body cameras but do have body microphones.
NewsNation affiliate WGN-TV and The Associated Press contributed to this report.