Wisconsin National Guard to be deployed to Kenosha after police shoot unarmed black father Jacob Blake

About 125 members are expected in Kenosha by Monday evening 

Danielle Zoellner
New York
Monday 24 August 2020 21:23 BST
Protesters gather at scene of police shooting in Wisconsin

The Wisconsin National Guard has been deployed to Kenosha one day after Jacob Blake was shot by police officers.

Governor Tony Evers authorised the deployment on Monday and about 125 members are expected to get to the city by the evening.

The decision comes after the city experienced violence and rioting on Sunday evening as a reaction to Mr Blake getting shot by Kenosha police officers seven times in the back.

Mr Blake's identity was revealed by Mr Evers and other officials later on Sunday after the shooting. The 29-year-old was taken to Froedtert Hospital in Milwaukee where he remains. His cousin revealed on Twitter that Mr Blake was out of surgery and currently recovering in the ICU.

Video footage showing the altercation between police officers and Mr Blake sparked outrage from the public. In the video, taken by a bystander, it shows Mr Blake walking around to the driver's side of his vehicle while officers followed him. When he reached into the car, one officer then shot Mr Blake in the back seven times.

Two officers have since been placed on administrative leave following the incident, and the Wisconsin Department of Justice was currently investigating the altercation. The department said the officers were cooperating with the investigation.

The National Guard being called to Kenosha comes after protests turned violent on Sunday evening. Protesters set fire to cars and local businesses, smashed windows and clashed with police in riot gear.

Mr Evers said the responsibilities of the National Guard officers on Monday evening would be "guarding infrastructure and making sure our firefighters and others involved are protected" .County officials have also set a curfew starting at 8pm in an effort to keep protests peaceful.

The governor was quick to condemn the incident between police and Mr Blake on Sunday evening after he saw video footage.

"What we know for certain is that he is not the first black man or person to have been shot or injured or mercilessly killed at the hands of individuals in law enforcement in our state or our country," Mr Evers said, adding he has seen no information to suggest Mr Blake had any weapon on himself but it was all "undergoing a thorough investigation".

The incident has spread across the country after footage was shared widely on social media. This has sparked prominent celebrities, politicians and athletes to react to the news of another unarmed black man being shot by police.

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden called for an "immediate, full and transparent investigation" while stating it was time to "dismantle systemic racism". He also called for the officers involved to "be held accountable" for their actions. President Donald Trump has not publicly addressed the shooting.

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