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Live Updates: Protests For Racial Justice

Man Shot By Kenosha Police 'Paralyzed From The Waist Down,' Family Lawyer Says

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Police attempt to push back protesters outside the Kenosha County Courthouse late Monday. Protesters converged during a second night of clashes after the police shooting of Jacob Blake.
David Goldman, AP

Police attempt to push back protesters outside the Kenosha County Courthouse late Monday. Protesters converged during a second night of clashes after the police shooting of Jacob Blake.

Updated 3:42 p.m. ET

Jacob Blake, the Black man who was shot multiple times at close range by police in Kenosha, Wis., over the weekend, is currently paralyzed from the waist down, according to the family's lawyer.

"Praying it's not permanent," civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump tweeted Tuesday afternoon.

News of the extent of Blake's injuries was first reported earlier Tuesday by the Chicago Sun-Times, who spoke with the man's father, also named Jacob Blake.

"What justified all those shots?" Blake's father told the Sun-Times. "What justified doing that in front of my grandsons? What are we doing?"

Footage went viral of police shooting Jacob Blake several times from just inches away as Blake leaned into an SUV on Sunday. Three of his children were reportedly in the back seat at the time.

Kenosha is now the nation's latest epicenter of unrest.

Anger and frustration boiled over Monday night when demonstrators, as they have done in many cities across the country this summer, took to the streets to call for an end to police brutality and systemic racism.

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These demands have intensified in the wake of recent high-profile killings of Black Americans, including George Floyd and Breonna Taylor and others.

Police deployed tear gas "multiple times" as demonstrators gathered outside the Kenosha County Courthouse after the 8 p.m. curfew on Monday, member station WUWM in Milwaukee reported.

The station also notes that law enforcement appeared to use other crowd dispersal tactics, including firing rubber bullets on demonstrators.

Some protesters tried to force their way into the city's public safety building Monday afternoon, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

There were also vehicles set on fire, including a garbage truck, according to reporter Matt Smith of Milwaukee-based ABC affiliate WISN.

Reporter Julie Bosman of The New York Times captured a scene of several businesses on fire in Kenosha overnight.

Earlier Monday, Gov. Tony Evers authorized the Wisconsin National Guard to assist local law enforcement in Kenosha.

"Every person should be able to express their anger and frustration by exercising their First Amendment rights and report on these calls to action without any fear of being unsafe," Evers said.

"This is a limited mobilization of the National Guard focused on supporting the needs of local first responders to protect critical infrastructure, such as utilities and fire stations, and to ensure Kenoshians are able to assemble safely," the governor added.

On Sunday, hours after the video of Blake's encounter with police began surfacing on social media, Evers tweeted his dismay over what he had seen. He said he is "hoping earnestly that he will not succumb to his injuries."

As NPR reported, at least seven shots could be heard on the widely circulated video that's roughly 20 seconds long.

Prior to the shots, one of the officers trails Blake and grabs his shirt with his left hand in what appears to be an attempt to pull him away from a vehicle. The officer's service weapon, in his right hand, is pointed inches from the man's back.

As soon as Blake leans inside, the officer appears to shoot.

Sounds of the vehicle's horn can be heard seconds later, presumably from Blake falling onto it.

The Wisconsin Department of Justice said it is investigating the shooting and is being assisted by the Kenosha County Sheriff's Department. It also said the officers involved are on administrative leave and are cooperating with the investigation.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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