Teen Arrested After 2 Killed, Another Injured at Protest Over Police Shooting of Jacob Blake
The violence came hours after Blake's mother issued a public call for calm
A 17-year-old resident of Illinois was taken into custody and faces charges in the shootings of 3 protesters in Kenosha, Wisconsin, on Tuesday night, the New York Times, CNN and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel report.
Wisconsin authorities issued an arrest warrant charging the teen with first-degree intentional homicide. Rittenhouse is currently jailed in Lake County, Illinois, the Sentinel reports.
Two people were killed and a third was injured late Tuesday, police said, as an unknown gunman allegedly began shooting at protesters during the third night of unrest in Kenosha, Wisconsin, over the shooting of Jacob Blake -- a Black man who was fired upon at least seven times by a white police officer in front of his three children.
Police did not immediately identify the victims of Tuesday night's violence, which followed Gov. Tony Evers' declaration of a state of emergency and an increased deployment of the Wisconsin National Guard amidst ongoing protests across the state that followed Blake's shooting.
“We cannot forget the reason why these protests began, and what we have seen play out over the last two nights and many nights this year is the pain, anguish, and exhaustion of being Black in our state and country," Evers said in a statement on Tuesday. "But as I said [Monday], and as I’ll reiterate today, everyone should be able to exercise their fundamental right—whether a protester or member of the press—peacefully and safely."
The violence came hours after Blake's mother, Julia Jackson, issued a call for calm.
“I’ve noticed a lot of damage,” she said at a press conference attended by other family members. “It doesn’t reflect my son or my family.”
"Citizens, police officers, firemen, clergy, politicians: do Jacob justice on this level and examine your hearts," she said. "We need healing. As I pray for my son's healing -- physically, emotionally and spiritually -- I also have been praying even before this for the healing of our country."
She added: "Let's use our hearts, our love and our intelligence to work together to show the rest of the world how humans are supposed to treat each other."
The governor's statement said: "We cannot allow the cycle of systemic racism and injustice to continue. We also cannot continue going down this path of damage and destruction. We are assessing the damage to state property and will be increasing the presence of the Wisconsin National Guard to ensure individuals can exercise their right safely, protect state buildings and critical infrastructure, and support first responders and fire fighters."
Blake, 29, was said by his father to be paralyzed from the waist down after the shooting.
Kenosha police said the shooting Sunday occurred after officers responded to a domestic incident, but have offered no further details as the investigation was turned over to the state's Department of Justice. The Kenosha News reports at least six witnesses said Blake had tried to break up a fight between two women, and that police had tried to use a Taser on him before the shooting.
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Widely shared video of the incident shows police officers following Blake, one with his gun raised and pointed, as Blake walks away from them and prepares to enter a vehicle. When Blake moves around the front of the vehicle, then opens the driver's side door and leans inside, at least seven gunshots are heard.
"Because those bullets severed his spinal cord and shattered some of his vertebrae, it is going to take a miracle ... for Jacob Blake Jr. to ever walk again," Ben Crump, an attorney for the family, said at Tuesday's press conference.
A GoFundMe page has been launched to benefit Blake.
To help combat systemic racism, consider learning from or donating to these organizations:
•Campaign Zero (joincampaignzero.org) which works to end police brutality in America through research-proven strategies.
•ColorofChange.org works to make government more responsive to racial disparities.
•National Cares Mentoring Movement (caresmentoring.org) provides social and academic support to help Black youth succeed in college and beyond.