Protests erupt in Wisconsin after police shoot unarmed black man in the back

Protests have erupted in Kenosha in the US state of Wisconsin after police shot an apparently unarmed black man multiple times in the back.

The incident was likely to add to continuing outrage and protests against police brutality and racism since the death of George Floyd, a 46-year-old African-American man, after a white police officer knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes.

The victim in Kenosha, identified by Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers as Jacob Blake, was hospitalised in serious condition.

A video circulating on social media shows a man walking towards a car followed by two officers and one of them starts shooting him in the back as he opens the car door.

A large four wheel drive is in the foreground, a black man is in a singlet, and three police officers are behind him
Jacob Blake was shot in the back several times by police after they responded to a “domestic incident”

Soon afterwards, multiple fires were set at the scene by a crowd that gathered to protest against the incident.

Social media posts showed crowds marching down streets of Kenosha, a city of around 100,000 people about 100 kilometres north of Chicago, and throwing Molotov cocktails and bricks at police officers.

Police responded by imposing a city-wide curfew until Monday morning (local time).

The shooting occurred at around 5:00pm on Sunday as officers were responding to what they called a “domestic incident”.

No further explanation was given by the police as to what led to the shooting.

Tear gas used, windows smashed

Multiple vehicle fires were set and windows were smashed along city thoroughfares as crowds faced off with law enforcement in riot gear.

Tear gas was used by officers to disperse hundreds of people on the streets.

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Mr Evers has come out in support of Mr Blake, criticising what he said was “excessive use of force and immediate escalation when engaging with black Wisconsinites”.

He said that while full details of the incident had yet to emerge, Mr Blake was among black people to have been injured or “mercilessly killed” by police in the US.

The Wisconsin Department of Justice said the officers involved in the shooting had been placed on administrative leave.

The state’s Division of Criminal Investigation said it would aim to issue a report to prosecutors within 30 days, according to US media reports.

Reuters/AP

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