Jacob Blake's Three Sons Were In Car, 'Saw A Cop Shoot Their Father'

Jacob Blake's three sons were sitting inside the car he was leaning into when police in Wisconsin shot him in the back, according to a prominent civil rights attorney.

Blake, a 29-year-old Black man, is in a critical condition in hospital after he was shot several times in Kenosha, Wisconsin on Sunday, Ben Crump tweeted.

A video circulating on social media showed Blake walking around the front of a vehicle parked on the street as three officers point their weapons at him.

One of the officers is seen grabbing the back of Blake's shirt and apparently opening fire at close range. Seven shots ring out, but it is not clear if they were all fired by the same officer.

On Twitter, Crump said Blake's three sons were inside the car at the time and "will be traumatized forever."

"Confirmed: Jacob Blake's 3 SONS were IN THE CAR he was getting into when @KenoshaPolice shot him tonight," Crump wrote.

"They saw a cop shoot their father. They will be traumatized forever. We cannot let officers violate their duty to PROTECT us. Our kids deserve better!!"

In a statement on Monday, Crump announced he will be representing Blake's family.

"We all watched the horrific video of Jacob Blake being shot in the back several times by Kenosha police," he said.

"Even worse, his three sons witnessed their father collapse after being riddled with bullets. Their irresponsible, reckless, and inhumane actions nearly cost the life of a man who was simply trying to do the right thing by intervening in a domestic incident. It's a miracle he's still alive."

He added: "We will seek justice for Jacob Blake and for his family as we demand answers from the Kenosha Police Department.

Crump has become the go-to attorney for families whose loved ones have been killed by police and has helped the families of Michael Brown and Trayvon Martin receive settlements. He is now representing the families of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd.

Floyd's death after a white Minneapolis police officer kneeled on his neck for several minutes on May 25 sparked nationwide unrest across the U.S. Protests against police brutality and racism have continued for almost three months in some places, including Portland.

Blake's shooting set off unrest in Kenosha on Sunday night, with huge numbers of protesters marching in the streets and facing off against police in riot gear. Kenosha County declared a state of emergency and enacted a curfew until 7 a.m. on Monday.

According to The Kenosha News, several witnesses said Blake had tried to break up a fight between two men outside a home on 40th Street before police attempted to use a Taser on him. Blake, who was unarmed, was then shot in the back, the witnesses said.

In a news release, the Kenosha Police Department said a person was hospitalized in a serious condition after officers responded to a "domestic incident" in the 2800 block of 40th Street at around 5.10 p.m.

Police said officers "provided immediate medical aid to the person," who was then transported to Life to Froedtert Hospital in Milwaukee.

Kenosha Police did not release details about what led up to the shooting, but said all the officers involved have been placed on administrative leave.

They directed all inquiries to the Wisconsin Department of Justice's Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI), which is investigating the officer-involved shooting with the assistance of the Wisconsin State Patrol and Kenosha County Sheriff's Office.

Police said the DCI will turn over its investigate reports to a prosecutor following a "complete and thorough" investigation.

The Wisconsin Department of Justice has been contacted for comment.

This article has been updated with a statement from Ben Crump.

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A man holds a sign as an alt-right group protest against Black Lives Matter protesters on August 15, 2020 in downtown Portland, Oregon. Paula Bronstein/Getty Images