What’s Happening in Kenosha?
After the shooting of Jacob Blake, protests have spread throughout Kenosha in the demand for justice.
( Art designed by Valerie Muzondi / Rowdy Magazine Art Director; Photos derived from @nytimes and @reuters / Instagram)
For resources on how to support the protests in Kenosha and to help Jacob Blake and his family, please notice the list at the bottom of the article. If you would like to contribute to our list of resources, please email email@example.com
[Trigger Warning: the following article contains details on gun violence that may be triggering for some readers]
In the continuing fight in support of Black Lives Matter, Kenosha, Wis. has become engulfed in protests after the seven-time shooting of a Black man named Jacob Blake on Sunday afternoon
Not only have the protests intensified, probing Wisconsin gov. Tony Ever to deploy National Guards, but the protests have also garnered significant national attention.
After the coronavirus pandemic shook the sports world to a halt, numerous athletes have initiated strikes against games until justice is served.
Four major sports leagues — the NBA, WNBA, MLB and MLS — have either postponed their seasons or have players striking the seasons in support of Black Lives Matter. The highest-paid female tennis player Naomi Osaka pulled out of the Western & Southern Open because of what she called “much more important matters at hand.”
Ultimately, America's had enough.
Who Was Jacob Blake?
Jacob Blake is a 29-year-old father to three boys, aged 3, 5 and 8. On Sunday evening, he was on Kenosha street with his three sons in the backseat of a car.
Blake saw a fight between two women, so he went to try and break the fight up. He later said he didn’t know what the fight was about.
Police arrived to the scene in response to a domestic incident. Blake was then seen walking away. In the video that’s been spread like wildfire throughout the Internet, police are seen following Blake to his car and shooting him seven times while he was facing his car door.
He was shot while unarmed, and his three sons witnessed it.
The shooting paralyzed Blake from the waist down. He is currently in intensive care in a Milwaukee hospital and doctors say it will be a miracle if he ever walks again.
How is this being investigated?
The case is currently in the hands of the Wisconsin Department of Justice and the FBI is conducting a federal civil rights investigation.
So far, only two officers have been placed on administrative leave, including the officer who shot Blake.
But then what happened on Tuesday?
On Tuesday, 17-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse shot and killed two people and left another person seriously injured. He was arrested and charged for first-degree intentional homicide on Wednesday.
Why is this such a big deal?
Other than the face that Rittenhouse is an underaged gun-user, he also crossed state lines from Antioch, Ill. to Kenosha to support his idols — policemen. When massive protests broke out on Tuesday, he wanted to help the police force.
Rittenhouse was a long time support of gun ownership and police's rights. The teenager had numerous social media posts posing with guns and in support of ‘Blue Lives Matter’. He even shadowed his local police force as a cadet, according to the Washington Post.
Even more controversial is Rittenhouse’s support for President Trump, as he had a TikTok video from Trump’s rally in Des Moines on Jan. 30th. The video has since been deleted, but Buzzfeed News matched the C-SPAN footage of Rittenhouse sitting at the event.
While some have debated whether Rittenhouse's shots were an act of self-defense, there's also the larger question that we face: Why did police react so calmly to this shooter, when so many Black people are killed for only "appearing" to be holding a weapon?
How You Can Demand Justice
Use your voice and contact local and state officials to demand justice for Jacob Blake. People to contact include:
Kenosha District Attorney: 262-653-2400, Michael.Graveley@da.wi.gov
Kenosha Mayor and City Administrator: 262-653-4000, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
Kenosha City Attorney: 262-653-4170, firstname.lastname@example.org, Edward Antaramian at email@example.com.
Wisconsin DOJ: 608-266-1221
Petitions to Sign:
Sign Color of Change's petition to demand accountability for the police officer who shot Jacob Blake here.
If you have the means to, donate:
Donate to the Milwaukee Freedom Fund here to help it raise money for bail, court-related costs, rides, food, water, and other needs.
Donate to the GoFundMe here to help Blake’s family raise funds for "medical bills, legal representation, support for his children and therapy costs."
Black Lives Matter is not a moment; It is a movement that will continue until change occurs.
Lauren Rousseau is the Online Editor at Rowdy Magazine. She loves watching drug-store versions of The Bachelor and baking cookies at inappropriate hours. You can find her on Instagram at @laurenxrousseau and email her pitches at firstname.lastname@example.org