kenosha shooting

Timeline: The Jacob Blake Shooting and the Unrest That Followed

NBCUniversal, Inc.

At 5:11 p.m. on Aug. 23, Kenosha police officers were called to a scene that would ultimately end with officers shooting a Black man, Jacob Blake, in the back at least seven times.

In the hours and days following, protests erupted and the small Wisconsin city became the center of nationwide outrage, the latest focal point in what has been summer of unrest amid cries for racial justice.

Here's a look back at what happened and when:

Aug. 23

  • At 5:11 p.m. Kenosha police said officers responded to a call of a "domestic incident in the 2800 block of 40th Street. There, they would encounter 29-year-old Jacob Blake who is seen on video posted to social media in an altercation with officers before they Tase and ultimately shoot him seven times in the back as he leans into a vehicle. The Kenosha department does not have body cameras so officers were not wearing them at the time of the shooting. Civil rights attorney Ben Crump, representing Blake's family, said Blake was “simply trying to do the right thing by intervening in a domestic incident.” The officers were placed on administrative leave, standard practice in a shooting by police, while the state Justice Department investigates. 
A video posted on social media appeared to show officers shoot at a Black man’s back seven times as he leaned into a vehicle in Kenosha, Wisconsin, on Sunday.
  • Democratic Gov. Tony Evers and Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden condemned the shooting. Republicans and the police union accused the politicians of rushing to judgment.
  • A large crowd gathered near the area Sunday evening. Social media posts showed neighbors gathering in the surrounding streets and shouting at police. Marchers headed to the Kenosha County Public Safety Building, which houses the police and county sheriff's departments. Protesters set cars on fire, smashed windows and clashed with officers in riot gear. Officers fired tear gas to disperse the crowds.
  • The city implemented a curfew until 7 a.m. Monday

Kenosha Shooting Protest Aftermath: Dealership Cars Burnt Out, Storefronts Damaged

Aug. 24

  • Kenosha residents woke Monday morning to broken storefront windows and charred cars.
  • Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot and CPD Supt. David Brown both responded to the shooting Monday. Lightfoot said she was "deeply disturbed" by the video of police shooting Blake and Brown called it "god-awful."
  • Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers called for a special legislative session to consider a package of police reforms.
  • Tensions flared after a news conference with Kenosha Mayor John Antarmian, originally to be held in a park, was moved inside the city’s public safety building. Hundreds of protesters rushed to the building and a door was snapped off its hinges before police in riot gear pepper-sprayed the crowd.
Kenosha’s mayor on Monday afternoon addressed a chanting group of protesters demanding that the officer responsible for shooting Jacob Blake be arrested and charged.
  • Police officers in the city of Kenosha won’t be equipped with body cameras until 2022, the mayor said.
  • Just after 2 p.m., Evers authorized the Wisconsin National Guard to help provide support to law enforcement agencies.
  • A curfew was again issued in Kenosha County, taking effect at 8 p.m. and expiring at 7 a.m. Tuesday.
  • Police first fired tear gas about 30 minutes after the 8 p.m. curfew took effect to disperse protesters who chanted, “No justice, no peace” as they confronted a line of officers who wore protective gear and stood shoulder-to-shoulder in front of the courthouse entrance. But hundreds of people stuck around, screaming at police and lighting fires, including to a garbage truck near the courthouse.
  • Protests spread across the U.S. Monday with demonstrations in Chicago, New York City, San Diego, Los Angeles and more.

Aug. 25

  • Jacob Blake's mother, father and three sisters, alongside civil rights attorneys, spoke out publicly on the shooting as it grips the nation. Blake's mother issued an impassioned plea for people across the country to "take a moment and examine your heart," saying her son would be "unpleased" by the unrest sparked from his shooting by police over the weekend.
Julia Jackson, mother of Jacob Blake, who was shot at least seven times in the back by police in Kenosha, Wisconsin, made a plea during a Tuesday news conference for Americans to “begin to pray for healing for our nation.” “Let’s use our hearts, our love and our intelligence to work together to show the rest of the world how...
  • The family's attorney said Blake is paralyzed and it will “take a miracle” for him to walk again. He called for the officer who opened fire to be arrested and others involved to lose their jobs. The 29-year-old Blake underwent surgery Tuesday afternoon, said attorney Ben Crump, adding that the bullets severed Blake’s spinal cord and shattered his vertebrae. Another attorney said there was also severe damage to organs. The legal team plans to file a civil lawsuit against the police department over the shooting.
Attorneys for Jacob Blake and his family laid out demands for police in a Tuesday press conference and plans to file a civil lawsuit in the case.
  • Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers declared a state of emergency under which he doubled the National Guard deployment in Kenosha from 125 to 250. A curfew was once again issued.
  • The Chicago Bears issued a statement promising to use the organization’s resources to “be a proponent of change” in local communities.In the statement, the Bears said that they are supporting efforts to end systemic racism.
  • The mayor of Evanston, Illinois, where Jacob Blake played high school football and has family ties, said that the community is in shock following the incident. Mayor Stephen Hagerty said "Evanston’s collective hearts ache for Jacob and his family, and we are praying for his full and speedy recovery.”
Jacob Blake, Sr., father of Jacob Blake, who was shot by police, spoke at a press conference in Kenosha, Wisconsin, on Tuesday, saying, "They shot my son seven times. Seven times. Like he didn't matter. But my son matters." Blake was left paralyzed from the waist down after officers shot him in the back in front of his children on Sunday.
  • For the third night in a row, demonstrators and police clashed on the streets of Kenosha. During the day Tuesday, peaceful protests had once again taken place, but as night fell the tension continued to build, and in spite of a curfew that went into effect at 8 p.m., many remained on the streets near Civic Center Park in downtown Kenosha. Police clad in riot gear were summoned to the area once again after demonstrators tried to push over newly-erected safety fences, and tear gas was fired at some in the crowd who attempted to breach the barriers. Eventually an unlawful assembly was declared by police, and skirmishes between officers and demonstrators continued into the late evening hours.
  • At around 11:45 p.m., authorities said three people were shot, two fatally, in Kenosha as unrest gripped the Wisconsin city. Officers responded to the area of 63rd and Sheridan Road for reports of a shooting, Kenosha police said in a statement. Few details were released, but police said investigators were aware of videos related to the shooting circulating on social media, asking anyone with further video or photo evidence to reach out.
WARNING: The following video contains graphic content and may be disturbing to some viewers. Footage from Captured News shows the moments after a gunman opened fire on a Kenosha street and the chaos that unfolded in the moments after.

Aug. 26

  • Social media footage surfaced surrounding the late-night fatal shooting during unrest. Witness accounts and video indicate the gunman first shot someone at a car lot just before midnight, but details on what sparked that shooting weren't immediately clear. The alleged gunman then jogged away, fell in the street, and opened fire again as members of the crowd closed in on him, some appearing to kick and grab at his weapon. According to witness accounts and video footage, police apparently let the gunman walk past them and leave the scene with a rifle over his shoulder and his hands in the air as members of the crowd were yelling for him to be arrested because he had shot people.

Photos: Images Show Traumatic Scene as Gunfire Erupts in Kenosha During Another Night of Unrest

  • Members of the Kenosha County Board, in a letter to Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers, requested additional National Guard troops be sent to the area.The group asked for 1,500 additional members "with police powers" be sent to the county "immediately."
  • President Donald Trump tweeted Wednesday afternoon that federal law enforcement will be sent to Kenosha as unrest continues to grip the Wisconsin city following the police shooting of a Black man on Sunday.
  • A teenage suspect in the shooting of multiple people during the unrest was taken into custody in Lake County, Illinois, and is facing first-degree intentional homicide charges, police confirmed. The suspect was identified as 17-year-old Antioch resident Kyle Rittenhouse.
  • Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers said the shooting that left two people dead and one injured amid unrest in Kenosha the night before was a "senseless tragedy" as he called for protests to remain peaceful and asked anyone not exercising their First Amendment rights to "stay home."
  • Kenosha authorities held one of their first press conferences since Jacob Blake's shooting. There they discuss measures taken to address the unrest and address the overnight fatal shooting, but do not detail what happened in Blake's shooting. They also discuss vigilante groups of armed citizens patrolling streets at night. As for how Tuesday's gunman managed to slip away, Sheriff David Beth described a chaotic, high-stress scene, with lots of radio traffic and people screaming, chanting and running — conditions he said can cause “tunnel vision” among law officers.
Kenosha’s police chief on Wednesday addressed the media after the police shooting of Jacob Blake sparked three days of unrest in the Wisconsin city.
  • The two people killed were identified only as a 26-year-old Silver Lake, Wisconsin, resident and a 36-year-old from Kenosha. The wounded person, a 36-year-old from West Allis, Wisconsin, was expected to survive, police said.
  • At 6 p.m., Wisconsin's Attorney General held a press conference and the Wisconsin Department of Justice releases some of the first information surrounding Blake's shooting. The department details preliminary information, naming the officer involved and reporting that Blake "admitted" to officers he had a knife at the time, but says an investigation remains ongoing.
  • The Kenosha County District Attorney’s Office called for a civil rights investigation into the Jacob Blake shooting.
Authorities on Wednesday released some of the first details surrounding the police shooting of Jacob Blake, which has since sparked nationwide outrage and days of unrest in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
  • Citing potential unrest related to the incidents that occurred in Kenosha, authorities in Antioch instituted an 8 p.m. curfew for all residents until further notice.
  • Making their strongest statement yet in the fight against racial injustice, players from six NBA teams refused to play postseason games on Wednesday in an act of protest that quickly reverberated across other professional leagues. Also called off: Some games in Major League Baseball, Major League Soccer and three WNBA contests, as players across four leagues decided the best way to use their platform and demand change was to literally step off the playing surface.
  • As authorities piece together a case against Rittenhouse, new details began to emerge about his life. Interested in law enforcement, Rittenhouse routinely posted pictures of himself on social media, including photos with the phrase “Blue Lives Matter” featured prominently. Another video, posted to a Tik Tok account purportedly run by Rittenhouse, appears to show him sitting in the front row of a rally hosted by President Donald Trump earlier this year.
  • Facebook confirmed Wednesday that it took down one group's page, titled The Kenosha Guard, for violating its policy against militia organizations. The company said it also is in the process of removing other accounts and material tied to the shootings that violate its policies, such as for glorifying violence, and it is in contact with local and federal law enforcement on the matter.
  • Facebook also removed Rittenhouse's accounts from Facebook and Instagram. The company said it had not found evidence on Facebook that suggests the suspected shooter followed the Kenosha Guard Page or was invited on its Event Page to go to the protests.

Aug. 27

  • Protests were mostly peaceful overnight. As of early Thursday, there were no groups patrolling with long guns as there were during previous nights of protests over the Sunday shooting of Blake, who was left paralyzed. Protesters also stayed away from a courthouse that had been the site of standoffs with law enforcement.
  • Kenosha police held another press conference but refuse to take reporter questions.
  • Gov. Evers and other state officials held a press conference in Kenosha discouraging vigilantes and questioning how an Illinois teen was able to avoid arrest while armed on the street.
  • Prosecutors charged 17-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse in the fatal shooting of two protesters in Kenosha, Wisconsin, and the wounding of a third.
NBC Chicago/Associated Press
Contact Us