Tag Archives: Jacob Blake

Jacob Blake: Joe Biden speaks on assault amid Kenosha, Wisconsin visit. #BLM

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Biden’s trip comes two days after President Trump condemned violent protesters there.


Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden on Thursday spoke with Jacob Blake, a Black man whose shooting by police in Kenosha, Wisconsin, two weeks ago led to days of violent protests.

“I had an opportunity to spend some time with Jacob on the phone. He’s out of (intensive care), we spoke for about 15 minutes,” Biden told a community meeting at a church in Kenosha.

“He talked about how nothing was going to defeat him, how whether he walked again or not, he was not going to give up.”

Upon landing in Milwaukee, which is about 72km (45 miles) north of Kenosha, Biden met Blake’s father, Jacob Blake Sr, his siblings, and one of his lawyers, B’Ivory LaMarr. Blake, Blake’s mother Julia Jackson and another lawyer, Ben Crump, joined by phone. Blake remains hospitalised after being shot seven times in the back by a white Kenosha police officer as authorities tried to arrest him.

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Trump denies systemic racism, pushes ‘law and order’ in Kenosha

Biden, who US President Donald Trump has said would be “weak” in dealing with rioters, framed his visit to Kenosha as an effort to unify the country after months of protests demanding racial justice.

“We’re finally now getting to the point where we’re going to be addressing the original sin of this country, 400 years old … slavery and all the vestiges of it,” Biden said during a community discussion at Grace Lutheran Church in Kenosha with business and civic leaders and at least two representatives of law enforcement.

“I can’t say if tomorrow God made me president, I can’t guarantee you everything gets solved in four years,” Biden said. But “it would be a whole better, we’d get a whole lot further down the road” if Trump isn’t re-elected.

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“There’s certain things worth losing over,” he concluded, “and this is something worth losing over if you have to — but we’re not going to lose.”

Biden’s visit to Kenosha came two days after Trump toured the city, albeit with a much different agenda, one that did not include a meeting with the Blake family or even a public mention of Blake’s name, for that matter.

Trump, who defied requests by the city’s mayor and Democratic Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers not to visit, instead emphasised his “law and order” campaign theme, calling the violence “domestic terror” and “anti-American”.

Democratic U.S. presidential nominee and former Vice President Joe Biden listens to residents during a community meeting at Grace Lutheran Church in Kenosha, Wisconsin. [Kevin Lamarque/Reuters]

Protests broke out in cities across the US following the May 25 death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota, in police custody, with some of them turning violent.

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On August 23, a policeman shot Blake in the back seven times, sparking civil unrest that attracted groups of white men carrying weapons.

Two nights after Blake was shot, two protesters were shot dead and another wounded allegedly by 17-year old Kyle Rittenhouse, from neighbouring Antioch, Illinois.

A video appeared to show Rittenhouse shooting protesters in two separate incidents, killing two white men and wounding a third, and making Kenosha a flashpoint in the presidential campaign.

Trump and fellow Republicans may feel that the violence in Kenosha could have a political impact in that battleground state.

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Unlike protests in large cities such as Portland, Oregon; Seattle, Washington; New York City and Chicago, which are all surrounded by areas that tend to vote Democratic and are generally not factors in deciding presidential elections, Kenosha is in a county where Trump defeated Hillary Clinton by 238 votes in 2016 and in a state that he won by 22,748 votes, a less than 1 percent margin.

Biden’s critics, including Trump, have aimed to paint him as “weak” on crime and argued he will not stand up to rioters, forcing Biden, whose advisers are acutely aware of the electoral importance of Wisconsin, to respond multiple times this week, culminating in Thursday’s trip to Kenosha.

Republicans’ hopes – and Democrats’ fears – that Biden’s polling lead over Trump would be negatively affected by Trump’s “law and order” focus, have not been confirmed as of yet. Polling out this week showed Biden’s lead nationally and in several battleground states generally holding steady.

In addition, a Media poll of Wisconsin voters (known to Noble Reporters Media) released on Wednesday revealed that voters there prefer Biden over Trump by 5 percentage points to handle policing and criminal justice.


#Newsworthy…


Jacob Blake: Biden says Kenosha killer cop should be charged.

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Biden made the comment a day before he is set to visit Kenosha, Wisconsin, where Trump travelled on Tuesday.


United States presidential candidate Joe Biden has called for the officer who shot Jacob Blake to be charged as he prepares to visit Kenosha, Wisconsin.

Biden will visit the city, which has seen daily protests since the August 23 incident, on Thursday, just two days after US President Donald Trump made a controversial trip to Kenosha.

That came despite requests from local and state officials that the president stay away for fear his presence would further agitate the situation.

On Wednesday, Biden told reporters that the officer who shot Blake, Rusten Sheskey, “needs to be charged” while also calling for charges in the fatal police shooting of Breonna Taylor in her Louisville, Kentucky apartment in March.

“Let’s make sure justice is done,” the candidate said.

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Biden said the trip is intended to help “heal” the city, where there have been daily, and at times violent, protests following the wounding of Blake, who was shot seven times in the back and reportedly paralysed as he was trying to get into a car as police US tried to arrest him. The state’s governor last week activated the National Guard to quell the unrest.

Former Vice President Biden, who has already been in contact with Blake’s family, said he planned to meet with business and civic leaders during the trip.

Both supporters of President Donald Trump and Black Lives Matters protesters came out from the president’s controversial visit [Morry Gash/The Associated Press]

Diverging messages
Biden’s call for the officers to be charged represents a counterpoint to Trump’s approach to the unrest that has swept across the US during months of demonstrations calling for racial justice, initially sparked by the police-involved death of George Floyd in Minnesota in May.

During his trip to Kenosha, a city about 100,000 in the battleground state of Wisconsin, Trump visited a street where buildings had been burned by the protests before holding a round table with law enforcement. He pledged to continue to support police in the state and country and denied systemic racism was a factor in police killings of Black people.

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Instead, Trump said, “bad apples” and good cops who “choke” were mostly to blame for recent high-profile incidences. The president said he continued to push a wider “law and order” message that says US cities and suburbs are under threat from “agitators”, “rioters” and “looters”.

Biden, meanwhile, has sought to underline wider security concerns in the country, fuelled by what he calls Trump’s ineptitude to deal with the coronavirus pandemic and his “fomenting” of racial discord.

Biden has also accused Trump of failing to condemn the violence committed by his supporters.

On Monday, Trump defended Kyle Rittenhouse, a 17-year-old who allegedly fatally shot two men after coming to the Kenosha protest armed with a semiautomatic rifle. In mobile phone footage recorded before the killings, the teenager, who has received significant support from some segments of the right, said he had come to Kenosha to protect property.

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Trump suggested to reporters that the killings appeared to be self-defence, a view that diverges from prosecutors’ account of the events.

Playing politics
Both campaigns have accused the other of playing politics with Kenosha, with Trump acknowledging before his trip that the visit could “increase enthusiasm”.

Kenosha represents the first city that has become a hot spot of the recent race-related unrest that either candidate has visited in recent weeks. Both the president of the local NAACP chapter and the city’s mayor said earlier this week it was too early for either candidate to come to the city.

Protests have continued in Kenosha since the police shooting of Jacob Blake on August 23, 2020 in the United States city [Morry Gash/The Associated Press]

In many ways, Kenosha encapsulates the state’s voting potential for both candidates. Trump carried the county by just 238 votes in 2016, while Obama trounced his Republican opponents in the county by 18 and 12 percentage points in 2008 and 2012, respectively.

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Trump’s narrow win in Wisconsin in 2016 was fundamental to his Electoral College victory. He was the first Republican to win the state since 1984.

Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton’s failure to visit Wisconsin during the campaign is often cited as one of many contributing factors to her surprise loss.

While some analysts have suggested that northern battleground states like Wisconsin, with predominantly white populations, may be particularly susceptible to Trump’s tough-on-crime rhetoric, a recent Reuters/Ipsos poll showed crime remained way down on the list of Americans’ concerns, with only eight percent citing prevention as a top priority.

Meanwhile, 78 percent said they were “very” or “somewhat” concerned about the coronavirus, and 30 percent said the economy and jobs were their top priority for the country.


#Newsworthy…

Jacob Blake: Trump pushes ‘law and order’ in Kenosha.

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The US president visited the Wisconsin city, where Jacob Blake was shot by police, despite pleas from local officials.


United States President Donald Trump decried violence at recent racial justice protests as “domestic terror” while denying there is systemic racism within US law enforcement during a visit to Kenosha, Wisconsin.

On Tuesday, the president arrived in the city, where protests have continued since police shot Jacob Blake seven times in the back during an encounter on August 23. Local officials and members of Blake’s family had requested that Trump stay away for fear he would further agitate the situation, which has at times turned violent with property damage and two protesters killed last week.

“We don’t need more pain and division from a president set on advancing his campaign at the expense of our city,” Justin Blake, an uncle, said in a statement as the family of Jacob Blake, who was paralysed in the shooting, held a “community celebration” during Trump’s visit.

“We need justice and relief for our vibrant community,” he said.

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After landing in Wisconsin, a key battleground state in the upcoming election, Trump toured the charred remains of a block besieged by violence and fire and spoke to the owners of a century-old furniture store that had been destroyed.

While meeting with local law enforcement, he blasted Democrats for what he described as enabling the violence and again took credit for deploying the US National Guard to the city, even though Wisconsin’s governor activated the troops and sought reinforcements from other state forces without the involvement of the federal government.

“These are not acts of peaceful protests, but really domestic terror,” Trump said during a round table with law enforcement, referring to objects being thrown at police officers and property damage.

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“Reckless far-left politicians continue to push the destructive message that our nation or our law enforcement are oppressive or racist, they’ll throw out any word that comes to them,” he added.

Supporters of both President Donald Trump and Black Lives Matter came out for Trump’s arrival in Kenosha [File: Morry Gash/The Associated Press]

The visit comes amid weeks of racial justice protests across the country that began after the police killing of George Floyd in Minnesota in May. Several high-profile killings of Black citizens have since fuelled the discord.

Trump’s campaign has seized the moment to push a “law and order” message that says US cities and suburbs are under threat of being swallowed by “looters”, “rioters” and “agitators”.

Joe Biden, Trump’s Democratic opponent in the November election, has accused the president of stoking tensions for political gain and drawing attention away from the coronavirus.

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“Fires are burning. We have a president who fanned the flames, rather than fighting the flames,” Biden said during a visit to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania amid his return to the campaign trail on Monday.

Biden’s team has considered a visit to Kenosha and has indicated that a trip to Wisconsin was imminent but has not offered details.

The NAACP said Tuesday neither candidate should visit the city as tension simmers.

‘Bad apples’
During the trip on Tuesday, Trump also vowed to build up law enforcement in the country, pledging $1m to the local police force in Kenosha, $4m to help rebuild businesses in the city, and $42m to promote overall public safety in the state.

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Trump’s victory in Wisconsin in 2016 was key to his Electoral College win and remains significant going into November’s election.

Responding to reporters’ questions, Trump denied that there were problems of systemic racism within US law enforcement, instead blaming recent incidents on “bad apples” or good cops who “choke” in decisive moments.

“Other people are calling for structural change, and then you can take the people of Kenosha who aren’t here and you won’t see and they aren’t protesting,” he told reporters. “They want to see change also, they want to see law and order. That’s a change they want.”

United States President Donald Trump toured an area damaged during demonstrations after a police officer shot Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin [File: Evan Vucci/The Associated Press]

The visit also comes a day after Trump appeared to defend 17-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse, who is accused of fatally shooting two protesters last week in Kenosha and wounding a third man.

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Is Trump’s message winning? | The Bottom Line
In widely circulated mobile phone footage taken before the shootings, Rittenhouse, who came to the protest armed with a semiautomatic rifle, said he was there to protect property.

On Monday, Trump gave a version of events that appears to diverge from prosecutors’ accounts, saying Rittenhouse was “trying to get away” when he fell “and then they very violently attacked him”.

Prosecutors have said Rittenhouse allegedly shot one man during a confrontation in a parking lot, and was then pursued by protesters who attempted to disarm him.

That is when he fell and then opened fire, killing the second man and wounding a third.


#Newsworthy…

Jacob Blake: Protesters March in Kenosha. [United States]

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Hundreds rally against racial injustice in the city where a police officer shot Jacob Blake seven times last week.


More than a thousand people have taken part in a Kenosha rally to protest against police violence, nearly a week after a police officer shot Jacob Blake in the back seven times, leaving the 29-year-old Black man paralysed from the waist down.

Marchers on Saturday chanted “No justice, no peace!” as the march began and “Seven bullets, seven days” – a reference to the number of times Blake was shot on Sunday.

Those leading the march carried a banner reading “Justice for Jacob” as they made their way towards the Kenosha County Courthouse, where several speakers railed against racial injustice and urged people to vote for change in November.

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“There were seven bullets put in my son’s back … Hell yeah, I’m mad,” said Blake’s father, Jacob Blake Sr. He said he wants to ask the police, “What gave them the right to attempted murder on my child? What gave them the right to think that my son was an animal? What gave them the right to take something that was not theirs? I’m tired of this. I’m tired of this.”

Blake Sr asked members of the crowd to raise their fists in the air with him.

Marchers chanted “No justice, no peace!” as the march began and “Seven bullets, seven days” – a reference to the number of times Blake was shot [Morry Gash/The Associated Press]

“We are not going to stop going in the right direction. We’re going to the top … we’re gonna make legislation happen because that’s the only thing that they recognise,” he said.

He also urged protesters to refrain from the looting and vandalism that he said detracted from the push for progress.

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“Good people of this city understand. If we tear it up we have nothing,” he told a gathering at a park that was the hub of protests in support of his son, Jacob Blake Jr. “Stop it. Show ’em for one night, we don’t have to tear up nothing.

Kenosha Police Officer Rusten Sheskey and two other officers were responding to a domestic abuse call on Sunday when Sheskey shot Blake seven times in the back. Blake is recovering in a Milwaukee hospital.

The shooting, which was captured on mobile-phone video, sparked new protests against racial injustice and police brutality, just three months after the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody touched off months of nationwide demonstrations.

Protesters have marched on Kenosha’s streets every night since the shooting, with protests at times devolving into unrest that damaged buildings and vehicles.

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On Tuesday, two people were killed by an armed civilian during a demonstration. Kyle Rittenhouse, a 17-year-old from Illinois who had gone to the protests armed with a semi-automatic rifle, is currently being held without bond and awaiting an extradition hearing on returning him to Wisconsin to face six criminal counts, including first-degree intentional murder, attempted murder, reckless endangerment and unlawful possession of a firearm by a minor.

The commander of the National Guard said on Friday that more than 1,000 Guard members had been deployed to help keep the peace, and more were on the way.

Jacob Blake’s sister Letetra Widman, centre, and uncle Justin Blake, left, [Morry Gash/AP Photo]

Conflicting accounts
Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul said this week that police confronted Blake when they were called to the home of a woman who had reported her “boyfriend was present” without permission. Officers then tried to arrest him.

Kaul said efforts to subdue Blake with a Taser failed, and that investigators later recovered a knife from the floor of the car that Blake was leaning into when he was shot.

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On Friday, the Kenosha police union defended the officers’ actions, saying Blake was armed with a knife, fought the officers and was given several chances to cooperate before they used deadly force.

Blake’s lead lawyer, Ben Crump, has said his client was not armed with a knife and did not provoke or threaten police.

In the mobile-phone footage recorded by a bystander, Blake walks from the sidewalk around the front of an SUV to his driver-side door as officers follow him with their guns drawn and shout at him.

As Blake opens the door and leans into the SUV, an officer grabs his shirt from behind and opens fire. Three of Blake’s children were in the vehicle.

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The man who recorded the video, 22-year-old Raysean White, said he heard police yell at Blake, “Drop the knife! Drop the knife!” before gunfire erupted.

White said he did not see a knife in Blake’s hands.

Handcuffed to hospital bed
Blake had been handcuffed to a hospital bed after the shooting, which authorities said was the result of an outstanding arrest warrant, until Friday, when the warrant was vacated, one of his lawyers, Pat Cafferty, told Reuters News Agency.

The warrant was based on a criminal complaint filed against Blake in July, based on statements made by his ex-girlfriend, the mother of three of his children, that was released to Reuters on Friday.

The woman told police Blake broke into her home on May 3 and sexually assaulted her before stealing her truck and debit card.


#Newsworthy…

Storyline: Jacob Blake Shot Seven Times In United States

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Jacob Blake is shackled to his hospital bed even though he is paralyzed after US police shot him repeatedly in the back, his father said Friday.

“Why do they have that cold steel on my son’s ankle?” Blake Sr., who visited his son in the hospital Wednesday, said in an interview on Media TV (known to Noble Reporters Media).

“He can’t get up, he couldn’t get up if he wanted to.”

African American Blake, 29, was shot over the weekend by a white police officer in Kenosha, Wisconsin and has no movement from the waist down.

The latest shooting of a black man by a white officer has triggered a new national uproar over police violence against people of color in America.

Demonstrators march through the city during a protest in New York, August 24, 2020 against the shooting of Jacob Blake who shot in the back multiple times by police in Kenosha, Wisconsin, on Sunday, prompting community protests. TIMOTHY A. CLARY / AFP

“This is an insult to injury,” said Justin Blake, an uncle of the younger Blake. “He is paralyzed and can’t walk and they have him cuffed to the bed. Why?”

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Blake Sr. said his son told him he can feel pain in his legs but that he himself is not sure if the pain is actually coming from his legs.

Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers said he was baffled as to why Blake is tied to his bed.

“I would have no personal understanding why that would be necessary,” Evers told reporters Thursday.

“I would hope that we would be able to find a more, a better way to help him … in recovering. That seems counterintuitive. It seems to be bad medicine.”


#Newsworthy…

Jacob Blake: Riot full Minneapolis after black man’s assault. #BLM

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The US continues to grapple with racial injustice as protests continue in several cities in the wake of shootings.


Relative calm returned to Kenosha, Wisconsin, overnight Wednesday into Thursday after two people were shot dead during protests the night before, while unrest in Minneapolis prompted the governor to declare a state of emergency, as the United States continues to grapple with racial injustice.

Kenosha authorities had on Wednesday identified the officer who fired seven shots at the back of Jacob Blake, paralysing the Black man, and sparking anti-racism protests.

After three nights of civil strife – including arson, vandalism and the shootings that killed two people on Tuesday night – calm appeared to take hold in Kenosha.

Violent protests had erupted on Wednesday night in the Midwestern city of Minneapolis, 598km (372 miles) northwest of Kenosha, following the death of a Black homicide suspect who, police say, shot himself.

The governor of Minnesota declared a state of peacetime emergency.

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The city has been the centre of protests following the death of George Floyd, a 46-year-old African American man, who died in May after a police officer knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes.

Floyd’s death and further violence against Black people have led to broader anti-racism protests and demonstrations against police brutality in cities across the US.

Protesters march in Minneapolis during a demonstration against police brutality and racism on August 24, after Jacob Blake was shot by police in Kenosha, Wisconsin, with his children nearby [File: Kerem Yucel/AFP]

Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey imposed a curfew following what he described as mass looting of businesses, destruction of property and unrest. Authorities also said misinformation was spread concerning the death of the suspect.

A video posted on social media, which could not be verified immediately by Reuters news agency, showed shots being fired and ransacking of shops.

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Minneapolis police posted a surveillance video of the shooting on Twitter, saying that the victim, a suspect in a homicide, committed suicide and that no weapons were fired by police.

The video shows a Black man shooting himself at the entrance of a building as a nearby group of people ran away and police approached the scene.

Other unverified videos posted on social media appeared to show police shooting demonstrators with less-lethal munitions as they moved away from authorities.

Minnesota Governor Tim Walz declared a state of emergency in Minneapolis and said the National Guard would be deployed in the area.

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“Dangerous, unlawful behavior will not be tolerated. The Minnesota National Guard and State Patrol are headed to Minneapolis to help restore order,” Walz said in a statement.

Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul had on Wednesday identified Rusten Sheskey as the white police officer who shot Blake after the latter opened his car door on Sunday. Blake’s three young sons were in the car. Kaul also said investigators found a knife on the floor of Blake’s car.

Rifle-toting civilians had come to Kenosha during the protest, among them 17-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse, who was arrested on Wednesday on homicide charges in connection with Tuesday night’s shootings. Rittenhouse, a police supporter, was arrested at his home in Antioch, Illinois, about 30km (20 miles) away.

Anti-racism protests have become a polarising issue ahead of the November 3 presidential election, which Vice President Mike Pence and other Republicans described as a choice between “law and order” and lawlessness at their national convention on Wednesday.

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“The hard truth is you won’t be safe in Joe Biden’s America,” Pence told the crowd seated on a lawn at historic Fort McHenry in Baltimore in reference to the Democratic challenger to President Donald Trump.

Teenager charged over killings at Kenosha protest
Police in Portland, Oregon, had on Wednesday declared a demonstration near a US immigration agency building as an “unlawful gathering”, ordering the crowds to disperse. Police said they made 11 arrests in the city which has been the scene of weeks of anti-racism protests and unrest.

Violent protests also erupted in Oakland, California, resulting in the arrests of several people after multiple fires were set during the demonstrations, according to police.

Oakland police said on Twitter a fire was started at the Alameda Superior Court by people who protested in solidarity with Wisconsin demonstrators on Wednesday.

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The National Basketball Association (NBA) postponed three play-off games scheduled for Wednesday after the Milwaukee Bucks, protesting against racial injustice, boycotted Game 5 of their play-off series against the Orlando Magic.

NBA players and officials were to meet on Thursday to decide whether the boycott would continue.

Tennis player Naomi Osaka pulled out of the semi-finals of a tennis tournament in Ohio on Wednesday in protest against the shooting of Blake.

Osaka, who has a Japanese mother and a Haitian father and has been a vocal supporter of the “Black Lives Matter” movement, said in a social media post: “Before I am an athlete, I am a Black woman.”


#Newsworthy…

Protest rocks U.S city after Police shoot Black Man. #BLM

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Protests erupted in the US city of Kenosha, Wisconsin, after police shot a black man in the back several times from close range as he got into a car on Sunday evening, according to cellphone video of the incident.

The man, named as Jacob Blake by Wisconsin governor Tony Evers, was airlifted to Froedtert Hospital in Milwaukee and was in serious condition, Kenosha police said.

“Tonight, Jacob Blake was shot in the back multiple times, in broad daylight, in Kenosha, Wisconsin,” Evers said on Twitter.

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“While we do not have all of the details yet, 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.

“We stand with all those who have and continue to demand justice, equity, and accountability for Black lives in our country.”

Police said the shooting occurred when they were responding to a domestic incident at about 5:11pm.

Cellphone footage of the incident shows a black man followed by two police officers with guns drawn as he goes around the front of a gray SUV.

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As he opens the door and tries to get into the driver’s seat one of the officers pulls on his T-shirt and he appears to be shot repeatedly in the back.

Civil rights attorney Ben Crump said Blake’s three sons were in the car at the time and he had been trying to break up a fight between two women.

“They saw a cop shoot their father. They will be traumatized forever,” Crump said on Twitter.

Crump represents the family of George Floyd, a black man who died on May 25 when a white police officer knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes.

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After nightfall in Kenosha, a crowd of protestors faced off against riot police, according to footage posted by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Kenosha city later declared an overnight curfew.

Wisconsin Department of Justice said its criminal investigation division was investigating the shooting.

“The involved officers have been placed on administrative leave,” it said in a statement early Monday.

The death of Floyd ignited massive nationwide protests against racism and police brutality.


#Newsworthy…