Cellphone images showed officers shooting a black man in the back but a white boy with an assault rifle who had allegedly just killed two was ignored
A protester holds a sign before a march against the shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin, on Friday. Photograph: Kerem Yucel/AFP/Getty Images
A lawyer for the family of Jacob Blake Jr called it “a tale of two videos”.
In one video, a white police officer in Kenosha, Wisconsin, shoots Blake, a black man, repeatedly in the back.
In a second video, taken two days later, a white teenager armed with an assault weapon who had just killed two people, prosecutors charge, walks toward police with his arms up. Not only is he not arrested – he is evidently ignored, unrecognizable as a potential threat.
The two videos capture and illustrate the existence of two justice systems in the United States, divided along racial lines, said Benjamin Crump, lawyer for the Blake family.
Jacob Blake Sr, the victim’s father, echoed that analysis in a speech on Friday at the Get Your Knee Off Our Necks rally and march for racial justice in Washington DC.
Video appears to show black man shot in back by police in Wisconsin
“There are two systems of justice in the United States,” Blake Sr told the crowd. “There is a black system and a white system and the black system isn’t doing so well. I’m tired of looking at cameras and seeing these young black and brown people suffer.”
The two videos capture radically different postures by law enforcement when confronted by two men – one a father who appeared to have argued with officers, the other a teen who traveled with an assault rifle from out of state and, prosecutors say, shot two people dead and injured a third.
Videos of Blake capture an altercation of some kind on the passenger side of Blake’s vehicle in a Kenosha neighborhood. Blake’s children are in his vehicle. In one angle, officers rear back as Blake stands and begins to walk around the front of the vehicle. Two officers follow him, guns drawn. Bystanders are yelling in distress. Blake opens the driver’s side door. One officer, later identified as Rusten Sheskey, grabs Blake’s shirt. Sheskey then fires seven times, hitting Blake in the back.
Blake Sr told CNN on Friday that his son was shackled to his hospital bed despite being partially paralyzed after the shooting. He was reportedly later unshackled.
The second video clip captures a gunman identified as Kyle Rittenhouse, 17, who earlier in the day was seen interacting with police officers and accepting water from them while carrying a semiautomatic rifle, illegal at his age in the state.
In the clip in question, Rittenhouse is seen walking toward armored police vehicles. Around his neck Rittenhouse wears the assault rifle he has just used, prosecutors say, to commit two homicides. Not only does Rittenhouse walk past law enforcement officers – he was free to return to his home in Antioch, Illinois, about 15 miles away, where he was later arrested.
Chaotic scenes as gunfire rings out during unrest after Jacob Blake shooting – video
An Illinois judge on Friday granted Rittenhouse’s request to delay a hearing on his extradition to Wisconsin until next month.
“You have these two videos from Kenosha in a matter of days, after you see this young white boy kill these two people and how the police de-escalate, they follow their training and professionalism,” Crump said.
“So what it tells us is that the issue is not de-escalation or professionalism, the issue is racism.”
Crump went on to refer to incidents of a black woman killed by police in Louisville and a black man killed in Minneapolis.
“They have a different response when it’s a black person in America. And that’s what we are talking about with George Floyd … when they busted into Breonna Taylor’s apartment, you do not have these things happening to our white brothers and sisters.”
Blake Sr told CNN: “My son is a human, but he is not being afforded the rights of a human … sometimes you get a little angry. Sometimes more than a little angry, because we have been going through this for so long.
“That 17-year-old Caucasian shot and killed two people and blew another man’s arm off, on his way back to Antioch, Illinois. He got to go home. He got water, they gave that guy water, and a high five.
“My son got ICU and paralyzed from the waist down. Those are the two justice systems right in front of you. We do not prescribe violence and looting, that’s not going to bring Trayvon Martin back … Tamir Rice, I could go on and on,” Blake Sr said, referring to the 17-year-old killed in Florida in 2012 and the 12-year-old killed in Cleveland, Ohio, in 2014.
“That’s not going to make my son get up out of that bed and walk.”
Cartoon by Dave Granlund, July 2016; after having been slammed by the Yartmouth Police Dept., the Cap Code Times apologized for having published this "controversial cartoon", stating: ""We are sorry to anyone who was offended and we regret the timing of the editorial cartoon published in Saturday's Cape Cod Times. Cartoons, in particular, can be sensitive because the forum is prone to exaggeration, caricature and hyperbole while making their point." Don't cross the thick blue line! [Tlaxcala]
"We are sorry to anyone who was offended and we regret the timing of the editorial cartoon published in Saturday's Cape Cod Times. Cartoons, in particular, can be sensitive because the forum is prone to exaggeration, caricature and hyperbole while making their point."