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    What We Know About the Shooting of Jacob Blake

    Jacob Blake, a 23-year-old Black man, was left partly paralyzed after a white police officer shot him seven times in the back outside an apartment complex in Kenosha, Wis., on Aug. 23.

    The shooting, which happened in front of three of Mr. Blake’s children, was captured by a neighbor in a video that circulated widely and rapidly on social media. Outrage spread quickly, rekindling the nationwide protests for racial justice that had followed the deaths of George Floyd, Elijah McClain, Breonna Taylor and other Black Americans after encounters with the police.

    Protesters poured into Kenosha in the days after the shooting — as did counterprotesters. An Illinois teenager was charged with homicide in connection with the shooting deaths of two demonstrators. Professional athletes in several leagues, led by the Milwaukee Bucks of the N.B.A., joined the protests by refusing to play games.

    Here’s what we know about Mr. Blake’s shooting and its aftermath.

    Mr. Blake, 29, a father of six, grew up in Evanston, Ill., and moved to Kenosha a few years ago to find work and to raise his family, an uncle told The Chicago Tribune.

    “It was a safer location,” the uncle, Justin Blake, said. “He could work and try to save and build a better life.”

    Mr. Blake’s family said he was working and training to become a mechanic at the time of the shooting.

    Credit…Alyssa Schukar for The New York Times

    His grandfather, also named Jacob Blake, was a pastor at an A.M.E. church and a civil-rights leader in Evanston, The Tribune reported.

    In July, a warrant was issued for Mr. Blake’s arrest on charges of third-degree sexual assault, criminal trespass and disorderly conduct. On Aug. 23, the woman who had filed the complaint that led to those charges called 911 to report that Mr. Blake was at her home, according to interviews and records.

    State officials have said that police officers responded to what they described as a domestic complaint and tried to arrest Mr. Blake.

    Before the police shot Mr. Blake, officers twice tried to use a Taser on him, state officials said. They also said that Mr. Blake had admitted that he had a knife, which was later found on the driver’s side floorboard of Mr. Blake’s car. There were no other weapons in the vehicle.

    In a statement, the union representing Kenosha police officers suggested that Mr. Blake had forcefully resisted arrest, fought with officers, put one officer in a headlock and ignored orders to drop a knife he held in his left hand.

    Ben Crump, a lawyer for Mr. Blake’s family, denied that Mr. Blake had been carrying a knife and said Mr. Blake had been trying to break up a disturbance involving two women when the police arrived.

    A neighbor recorded the shooting with a cellphone. The video shows Mr. Blake being shot seven times in the back in front of his children as he tried to get into his car.

    Mr. Blake’s family has said he is paralyzed from the waist down. In a video posted on Twitter on Sept. 5, Mr. Blake said he had staples along his back and abdomen. “Every 24 hours, it’s pain — it’s nothing but pain,” Mr. Blake said in the video. “It hurts to breathe. It hurts to sleep. It hurts to move from side to side. It hurts to eat.”

    On Aug. 26, the Justice Department announced a civil rights investigation into the shooting.

    The police officer who shot Mr. Blake is Rusten Sheskey, 31, who has been with the Kenosha Police Department for seven years.

    Officer Sheskey and two other officers were placed on administrative leave while the Wisconsin Division of Criminal Investigation investigates the shooting.

    Protests over Mr. Blake’s shooting played out in the streets of Kenosha, in cities across the country and in the spotlight of professional sports. Athletes from the N.B.A., the W.N.B.A., Major League Baseball and Major League Soccer and at the Western & Southern Open tennis tournament refused to play, seizing on the shooting to take a stand against systemic racism and police brutality.

    In Kenosha, anger was palpable during the first nights of the protests, as some demonstrators burned buildings and cars and threw fireworks, water bottles and bricks at police officers in riot gear. Officers responded with tear gas and rubber bullets.

    Credit…Carlos Ortiz for The New York Times

    Protests spread across the country, to cities including Madison, Wis.; Portland, Ore.; Minneapolis; and New York.

    In Kenosha on Aug. 25, two people were fatally shot, and a third was wounded, as protesters clashed with counterprotesters, including a group of armed men who said they were protecting the area from looters. The two people killed were Joseph Rosenbaum, 36, and Anthony Huber, 26. Mr. Huber’s friends said he was protesting against the shooting of Mr. Blake.

    Kyle Rittenhouse, 17, who is white, was arrested at his home in Illinois and charged with six criminal counts, including first-degree reckless homicide, first-degree intentional homicide and attempted first-degree intentional homicide, in connection with the shooting deaths of Mr. Rosenbaum and Mr. Huber and the wounding of the third demonstrator.

    Mr. Blake’s shooting and the protests that followed it were still fresh when demonstrators gathered at the Lincoln Memorial on Aug. 28, the 57th anniversary of the March on Washington and the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech. Mr. Blake’s father, Jacob Blake Sr., was among those who addressed the crowd.

    “There are two systems of justice in the United States,” he said. “There’s a white system, and there’s a Black system.” He added: “We’re not taking it anymore.”

    President Trump visited Kenosha on Sept. 1, touring buildings that had been damaged during the protests, meeting with law enforcement officials and calling for a crackdown on violent demonstrations. He did not meet with Mr. Blake’s family, and he described police violence as the work of “bad apples.”

    Visiting Kenosha two days later, former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. showed sympathy toward protesters and Black voters. Mr. Biden met with Mr. Blake’s family and their legal team for about an hour and spoke with Mr. Blake by phone.

    Credit…Kriston Jae Bethel for The New York Times

    Mr. Biden also hosted a listening session with activists, elected officials, clergy members, businesspeople and a few law enforcement officers.

    Reporting was contributed by Nicholas Bogel-Burroughs, Julie Bosman, Michael Cooper, John Eligon, Katie Glueck, Neil MacFarquhar, Sarah Mervosh, Richard A. Oppel Jr. and Marc Stein.


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