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Father of Wisconsin Police Shooting Victim Says Son Is Paralyzed


People hold placards as they gather for a protest outside the Kenosha County Courthouse, August 24, 2020, after a Black man, identified as Jacob Blake, was shot several times by police Sunday night in Kenosha, Wisconsin.

The father of Jacob Blake, the Black man who was shot Sunday by police in Kenosha, Wisconsin, said his son is paralyzed from the waist down.

Blake’s father, who is also named Jacob Blake, told the Chicago Sun-Times newspaper Tuesday his son has “eight holes” in his body from his confrontation with police. He said doctors do not know if the paralysis will be permanent.

Ben Crump, the lawyer for the injured man, said it would “take a miracle” for him to walk again. He said Blake’s spinal cord was severed and his vertebrae shattered. Another family lawyer said several organs were damaged as well.

Police have so far released almost no information about what led up to the shooting Sunday evening other than to say they were responding to a domestic dispute.

The incident has led to two straight nights of violence in Kenosha, a working-class city between Milwaukee and Chicago. There were also protests around the country, including Milwaukee, Minneapolis, New York and Los Angeles.

Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers on Tuesday doubled the number of National Guardsmen deployed in Kenosha and declared a state of emergency in the state.

“We cannot allow the cycle of systemic racism and injustice to continue,” Evers said in a statement. “We also cannot continue going down this path of damage and destruction.”

A protester sits on a car as they stop traffic, Aug. 24, 2020, in Kenosha, Wis. Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers has summoned the National Guard to head off another round of violent protests.
A protester sits on a car as they stop traffic, Aug. 24, 2020, in Kenosha, Wis. Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers has summoned the National Guard to head off another round of violent protests.

Kenosha Fire Chief Charles Leipzig told the Kenosha News fires started during the protests destroyed or badly damaged 30 businesses as well as an unknown number of residences.

On Tuesday, Kenosha County Sheriff David Beth warned people to stay away from the city and urged residents to abide by the curfew that would be in effect from 8 p.m. Tuesday until 7 a.m. Wednesday local time.

Cellphone video of the incident on Sunday shows Blake walking around the front of an SUV, in which three of his children were sitting. Two police officers appear to be following with their guns pointed at him. When Blake opens the car door and leans in, an officer appears to grab his shirt from behind and fires. In the video, seven shots were heard along with people screaming and shouting.

Crump told ABC News one officer fired all seven shots, four of which hit Blake. Crump said there is no sign Blake was armed, adding he was trying to break up an argument between two women. It is unclear who the women are and their ties to Blake and his children.

Sunday’s shooting came after a spring and summer of nationwide protests sparked by the death of George Floyd, a Black man who died in May while in the custody of Minneapolis police officers. There have also been other highly publicized killings of African Americans by police.

The shootings gave new life to the Black Lives Matter movement, and elevated racism and law and order into key issues for the presidential campaign.

The officers involved in Sunday’s shooting are on administrative leave.

The president of the Kenosha police union, Pete Deates, is urging people not to jump to conclusions about Sunday’s incident.

“As always, the video currently circulating does not capture all the intricacies of a highly dynamic incident,” he said.

Pastor Norma Urrabazo of the International Church of Las Vegas included Blake as she led the opening prayer on the second night of the Republican National Convention Tuesday.

"We pray for healing and comfort to Jacob Blake and his family. We pray for your protection over those who put their lives in harm's way to bring safety and security to our streets," she said.

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden said Monday “These shots pierce the soul of our nation. Equal justice has not been real for Black Americans and so many others … we must dismantle systemic racism.”