Wisconsin Democrats Call for Police Officer to Be 'Convicted' Over Shooting

Wisconsin Democrats called for a local police officer to be convicted after footage emerged of an officer shooting a Black man in the back as he tried to enter his car.

The Wisconsin Democratic Party Chair Ben Wikler said the Sunday shooting of the Black father, reported to be 29-year-old Jacob Blake, was a "sickening, infuriating tragedy" and called for at least one officer to be convicted over the incident.

He added that the police shooting was a "symptom of the deadly disease of white supremacy," before later noting that the full details of the incident were not yet known.

Footage of the shooting circulated widely on social media last night, and showed police officers holding their guns up to Blake as he walked away from them and towards his car door.

After he opens the car door and leans into the vehicle, one officer is seen grabbing Blake's shirt and firing his pistol at his back as onlookers screamed. It is unclear from the footage how many officers discharged their weapons.

Issuing a statement on the shooting, Wikler said: "We send our deepest prayers to Jacob Blake, and wish him and his loved ones strength in his recovery. This is yet another horrifying reminder of the violence of white supremacy, which devalues, maims, and ends Black lives in our state.

"The officer who shot Mr. Blake seven times at point blank range should be investigated, tried and convicted. We don't know yet the details of this situation. But we know a man was shot in the back in broad daylight. We know that Wisconsin is one of the worst state to raise a Black child, is a state that incarcerates Black men at one of the highest rates in the nation, and is a state with a brutal history of police violence. Black lives matter. Jacob Blake's life matters."

Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers said that he hoped Blake would "not succumb to his injuries" in a separate statement.

"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," Evers said.

Newsweek has contacted the Wisconsin Department of Justice for comment, and will update this article with any response.

Releasing a statement on the Kenosha shooting in the early hours of Monday morning, the Wisconsin DOJ said it was investigating an "officer involved shooting" in the area, adding that all law enforcement officials involved in the incident had been placed on administrative leave.

"The shooting occurred when Kenosha police officers responded to a reported domestic incident in the 2800 block of 40th street," the Wisconsin DOJ said. "Law enforcement immediately provided medical aid to the person who was shot."

The department said the victim of the shooting had been transported to Froedtert Hospital in Milwaukee and was in a serious condition. Evidence in the case is still under review.

"There has been speculation on social media about the identities of those involved in this incident," it added. "The public is advised to await identifying information from an official source."

Responding to the police shooting, crowds of protesters have already gathered in the street to demonstrate, causing an emergency curfew to be levied on the city.

Wisconsin Black Lives Matter Demonstrator
Demonstrators organized by the Young Gifted & Black Coalition march past the Dane County Courthouse May 13, 2015 in Madison, Wisconsin. Scott Olson/Getty Images
Wisconsin Democrats Call for Police Officer to Be 'Convicted' Over Shooting | U.S.