Pro-justice protesters have called for mass demonstrations as troops mobilize to crackdown on protesters following the recent shooting in Kenosha, Wisconsin involving another Black man.
Following the Minneapolis police killing of George Floyd, which triggered mass anti-racism protests in the US and beyond, another black man, Jacob Blake Jr., was shot in the back by an officer in Kenosha which sparked fresh racial tensions across the country.
Black Lives Matter protest organizers, alongside others who demand an end to police brutality and racial discrimination, called for a demonstration on Saturday featuring speeches by members of Blake's family, Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes, US Representative Gwen Moore, and other community leaders.
“We are heartbroken and enraged, but we are steadfast in our demand for justice,” Tanya Mclean, a Blake family friend who helped organize the demonstration said in a statement. She noted that Blake's shooting was the result of a “brutal, racist system” discriminating against blacks.
“We’re here to demand an end to police violence and systemic racism in Kenosha,” Mclean said. “No more piecemeal reforms and useless committees. No more Band-Aid solutions over the bullet wounds. The time for transformational change is now.”
On Sunday, Blake was shot in the back seven times by a white Kenosha police officer named Rusten Sheskey who was responding to a domestic abuse call. The Kenosha police union claimed Blake had a knife and resisted arrest. State investigators, who have said little about what led to Blake's shooting, said that the officers claimed they had seen a knife on the floor of the car.
Videos of the incident, which were captured on mobile phones and went, sparked fresh anti-racism protests against racial discrimination and police brutality.
Blake family said the victim was paralyzed waist down from the shooting.
Anti-racism protesters have staged nightly demonstrations in Kenosha since the shooting of Blake, and on on Tuesday, two demonstrators were killed by a white right-wing teenage terrorist.
The alleged gunman Kyle Rittenhouse, 17, has been charged with one count of first-degree intentional homicide, one count of first-degree reckless homicide, one count of attempted first-degree intentional homicide, and two counts of first-degree reckless endangerment.
Rittenhouse's lawyer, Lin Wood, has claimed the shooting was self-defense.
Meanwhile, the commander of the National Guard said Friday that more than 1,000 Guard members had been deployed to Kenosha to crackdown of the pro-justice protesters opposed to racial discrimination and police brutality. He added that more troops were on the way.
Just three months ago, George Floyd was killed by a Minneapolis police who knelt for 9 minutes on the victim's neck while his hands had been handcuffed from behind.