Photo by Nicole Baster on Unsplash
The August 23 shooting left Jacob Blake paralyzed below the waist.
On Monday, Wisconsin governor Tony Evers authorized the mobilization of the state’s National Guard. The decision was made in the wake of news that no charges will be filed against officers involved in the August 23 shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
The shooting–which happened during summer-long protests over the death of George Floyd–prompted a brief boycott across sports leagues. At subsequent protests over the shooting, 17-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse opened fire with an assault rifle, killing two people and wounding another. Rittenhouse is out on $2 million bail and has been charged with first-degree intentional homicide.
“Our members of the National Guard will be on hand to support local first responders, ensure Kenoshans are able to assemble safely, and to protect critical infrastructure as necessary,” Evers said.
Blake was shot in the back about seven times while attempting to enter his vehicle. Before officer Rusten Sheskey fired shots, he and officer Vincent Arenas used tasers on Blake to no avail. The incident was captured in a video that went viral shortly after it was uploaded.
“We are immensely disappointed in Kenosha District Attorney Michael Gravely’s decision not to charge the officers involved in this horrific shooting,” Blake’s family attorney Benjamin Crump said in a statement. “We feel this decision failed not only Jacob and his family, but the community that protested and demanded justice.”
Kenosha city officials are considering a designated space for demonstrations, curbing city bus routes, closing roads, protective fencing, and curfews.
“Officer Sheskey fired seven shots into an unarmed man’s back,” said Tanya McLean of Leaders of Kenosha. “On a block where our children walk to school and our families go to church…all of us–Black, white, brown, native and newcomer–deserve to be safe in our own neighborhoods, and that means holding police officers accountable when they brutalize us.”