Lightfoot, Brown React to ‘God-Awful' Video of Police Shooting Man in the Back in Kenosha, Wisconsin

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Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said Monday she was "deeply disturbed" by video of police shooting a Black man several times in the back in Kenosha, Wisconsin, on Sunday, a video CPD Supt. David Brown called "god-awful" as outrage grows over the incident.

"Yesterday in Wisconsin, a police officer shot Jacob Blake, an unarmed Black man, a father, 7 times in the back," Lightfoot tweeted Monday morning. "I am deeply disturbed by the video capturing part of the incident. I urge civil & criminal authorities to pursue an immediate & thorough investigation of the shooting."

"We pray that Mr. Blake survives. And we pray for his children, and for peace and justice in Kenosha," Lightfoot added.

The shooting took place at around 5:11 p.m., when officers responded to a domestic incident in the 2800 block of 40th Street, the Kenosha Police Department said in a statement.

Video posted on social media appeared to show officers grab at Blake's shirt and shoot him in the back seven times as he leaned into a vehicle. Three officers can be seen in the video, but it's unclear if more than one officer fired shots.

Police did not provide details on what led to the shooting but said the man was taken in serious condition to a hospital in Milwaukee for treatment. Blake's family confirmed Monday that the 29-year-old was out of surgery and in stable condition.

Kenosha police said the Wisconsin Department of Justice is investigating the shooting with the assistance of Wisconsin State Patrol and the Kenosha County Sheriff's Office.

Kenosha police added that the officers involved were placed on administrative leave as authorities investigate, noting that the Wisconsin DOJ's aim is to provide a report of the incident to a prosecutor within 30 days, at which point the prosecutor would make a determination about what charges, if any, are appropriate.

The shooting and video circulating online sparked massive protests and unrest overnight in Kenosha, with cars set on fire and windows smashed as police used tear gas to disperse groups.

Kenosha is about 50 miles north of Chicago, where the city's mayor and top cop, facing ongoing protests and unrest over police brutality and accountability, said they were monitoring the situation in Wisconsin.

"I have seen the video in Kenosha; it's god-awful to watch. It is," Brown said. "And again, we don't want to make any kind of assumptions based on a preliminary investigation that's just started but again, the video looks god-awful. Hopefully more will be revealed by law enforcement in Wisconsin sooner rather than later."

The shooting in Wisconsin took place as the U.S. continues to experience a kind of racial reckoning following the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis in late May, and amid the global coronavirus pandemic that has impacted minority communities overall at higher rates. Protests around the U.S. continue, calling for racial justice as well as reforms and accountability in policing.

Those protests have continued in Chicago, and several other cities, for the nearly three months since an officer knelt on Floyd's neck for almost nine minutes as he cried out that he couldn't breathe.

Many of the protesters in Chicago have called for funding from the Chicago Police Department to be diverted to other community resources, like violence prevention, mental health clinics and other initiatives.

While many of the protests in Chicago have remained peaceful, the city has also seen looting and chaos erupt at points amid the unrest. Most recently, on Aug. 10, more than 100 people were arrested and more than a dozen officers injured as groups broke into stores and stole merchandise in several neighborhoods near Chicago's downtown area, according to police.

That destruction and violence happened months after a first round of looting took place citywide immediately following Floyd's death, and just hours after Chicago police officers - who were not wearing body cameras - shot a man in the Englewood neighborhood.

In that shooting, police said officers were called to the 5700 block of South Racine Avenue for a report of a man with a gun, found an individual who matched the description and attempted to confront him in an alley.

Police said the man fled and produced a gun, firing shots at the officers who returned fire, striking him. Brown said Monday morning that the man was 20 years old and was taken to the University of Chicago Hospital where he was being treated for injuries that were not thought to be life-threatening.

Brown said the following day that social media posts encouraged looting as tensions ran high after the shooting. He noted on Monday that Chicago police were monitoring the developments in Kenosha and how the situation might impact Chicago.

'This week will mark the 57th anniversary of the March on Washington and Martin Luther King's 'I Have a Dream' speech," Brown said, when asked if he was concerned about unrest in Chicago in response to the Kenosha shooting.

"One of the things that was emphasized by Martin Luther King was, 'A threat to justice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.' So what happens in Wisconsin or any other city throughout our country does affect all of us, and yes, we are monitoring that situation," he continued.

"We are obviously preparing for a protest this coming weekend at the Mag Mile and all of our deployment strategies are being practiced and we are obviously adjusting based on the information coming from not only what happened in Wisconsin but what happens here in Chicago," Brown added.

Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers on Sunday night condemned the shooting, saying in a statement that “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.”

“I have said all along that although we must offer our empathy, equally important is our action," he continued. "In the coming days, we will demand just that of elected officials in our state who have failed to recognize the racism in our state and our country for far too long.”

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