Earlier today I wrote about the shooting of Jacob Blake by police in Kenosha, Wisconsin and the riots and looting that followed. Gov. Tony Evers was quick to side with Black Lives Matter after the shooting, comparing the situation to the death of George Floyd (though Blake is still alive). Now, however it appears that Gov. Evers is concerned about the reaction to the shooting and has called out the National Guard:
Wisconsin’s governor summoned the National Guard for fear of another round of violent protests Monday after the police shooting of a Black man under murky circumstances turned Kenosha into the nation’s latest flashpoint city in a summer of racial unrest.
Democratic Gov. Tony Evers said 125 members of the National Guard would be in Kenosha by night with responsibility for “guarding infrastructure and making sure our firefighters and others involved are protected.” County authorities also announced an 8 p.m. curfew.
WTMJ in Milwaukee has more:
The governor explained that the Guards’ mission in Kenosha will be to guard infrastructure from looting and vandalism, as well as to protect firefighters who are involved in putting out fires and other tasks amid unrest…
“Serving our fellow Wisconsin citizens and assisting civil authorities during times of need is one of core missions in the National Guard,” said Maj. Gen. Paul Knapp, Wisconsin’s adjutant general, in the release. “Our Citizen Soldiers and Airmen are well-trained and prepared to assist in any way we can in an effort to preserve public safety.”
Meanwhile, the man who shot the video of Jacob Blake’s shooting is giving some more detail about what happened before the clip he shot. He claims that three officers were wrestling with Blake before the clip started and one had used a stun gun before Blake got free and walked around the car. He also claims the officers yelled something about a knife:
The man who claimed to have made the video, 22-year-old Raysean White, said that 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 governor said that 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…
White, who claimed to have made the video, said that before the gunfire, he looked out his window and saw six or seven women shouting at each other on the sidewalk. A few moments later, Blake drove up in his SUV and told his son, who was standing nearby, to get in the vehicle, according to White. White said Blake did not say anything to the women.
White said he left the window for a few minutes, and when he came back, saw three officers wrestling with Blake. One punched Blake in the ribs, and another used a stun gun on him, White said. He said Blake got free and started walking away as officers yelled about a knife.
There’s another video which appears to start a few seconds earlier. It’s hard to see much of what is happening but it does look as if police were fighting with Blake before the shooting.
Here's a video of the shooting that happened in Kenosha, Wisconsin. This video shows the shooting of Jacob Blake from a different vantage point. pic.twitter.com/d2CYIis6Zm
— Ian Miles Cheong (@stillgray) August 24, 2020
I don’t see a knife visible in the two videos we’ve seen so far but obviously if he had one that would change things since he wouldn’t be unarmed at that point. I don’t know if police in Kenosha have body cams but I hope so.
Update: The Washington Post just published a story which says Blake became involved in a dispute over a scratched car.
Stella London, who lives in the area, and her daughters said Monday that they think Blake was breaking up a fight between two women over a scratch on one of their cars and police just “assumed” he was a problem.
“It all came from a scratched vehicle. It’s just so sad,” said Sheila Winters, 65.
The women worry that if Blake does not survive, their city will become consumed by violence.
As for the body cameras, Kenosha police don’t have them:
Kenosha Mayor John Antaramian said at the briefing that the city’s police force does not have body cameras and is expected to get them in 2022.