Wisconsin activates National Guard after protests over Jacob Blake shooting

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Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers (D) activated the National Guard on Monday to assist local law enforcement after protests in Kenosha turned violent following the Sunday night police shooting of Jacob Blake. 

“I know folks across our state will be making their voices heard in Kenosha and in communities across Wisconsin. Every person should be able to express their anger and frustration by exercising their First Amendment rights and report on these calls to action without any fear of being unsafe,” Evers said in a statement

“This is a limited mobilization of the National Guard focused on supporting the needs of local first responders to protect critical infrastructure, such as utilities and fire stations, and to ensure Kenoshians are able to assemble safely,” he added. 

Kenosha County authorities have announced an 8 p.m. curfew for Monday night, The Associated Press reported, and Evers said 125 members of the National Guard would be in Kenosha by Monday night.

Protests erupted in Kenosha on Sunday night after video surfaced showing Blake getting shot in the back several times as he attempted to enter his vehicle. He was sent to a hospital in serious condition. 

The Wisconsin Department of Justice said it is investigating the shooting, and the officers involved have been placed on administrative leave. 

Blake was helping to de-escalate a domestic incident when police drew their weapons, according to lawyer Ben Crump, who has been retained by Blake’s family. Crump, a renowned civil rights attorney who has represented several families of high-profile Black victims of police brutality, said Blake’s three sons were in the vehicle Blake was getting into when he was shot. 

On Sunday night, Evers called for further accountability for law enforcement in a statement identifying Blake. Evers said he stands “with all those who have and continue to demand justice, equity, and accountability for Black lives in our country.” 

The shooting is the latest in a string of incidents of police violence against unarmed Black Americans that has led to ongoing nationwide protests. 

Tags Jacob Blake police brutality Police shootings systemic racism Tony Evers Wisconsin

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