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National Guard called out after protests in Wisconsin over police shooting of Black man

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By Euronews with AP
Vehicles were burned as protesters in Wisconsin clashed with police after a Black man was shot by officers multiple times.
Vehicles were burned as protesters in Wisconsin clashed with police after a Black man was shot by officers multiple times.   -   Copyright  AP Photo/Morry Gash

Wisconsin’s governor summoned the National Guard to head off another round of violent protests on Monday after the police shooting of a Black man in the back multiple times in Kenosha on Sunday.

Protesters on Sunday set cars alight, smashed windows and hurled firebombs at law enforcement officers. 

The clashes follow the wounding of 29-year-old Jacob Blake, who is in a serious condition in hospital. 

Vides circulating on social media showed Blake walking toward a car as he was followed by two officers. He was shot as he opened the car door. His three children were reportedly sitting in the vehicle. 

AP Photo/Morry Gash
Volunteers sweep up debris as police in riot gear stand outside the Kenosha County Court House.AP Photo/Morry Gash

Democratic Gov. Tony Evers said 125 members of the National Guard would be in Kenosha on Monday night with responsibility for “guarding infrastructure and making sure our firefighters and others involved are protected.”

'Kids in the back screaming'

Police said Blake was shot while they were responding to a call about a domestic dispute. They did not immediately disclose the race of the three officers at the scene or say whether Blake was armed or why police opened fire.

Civil rights attorney Ben Crump, representing Blake’s family, said Blake was “simply trying to do the right thing by intervening in a domestic incident.”

Crump, the attorney who has also represented the Floyd and Taylor families, called the police officers’ actions “irresponsible, reckless and inhumane”.

AP Photo/Morry Gash
Black Lives Matters rallies were held in Wisconsin on Monday.AP Photo/Morry Gash

Laquisha Booker, who is Blake’s partner, told NBC’s Milwaukee affiliate, WTMJ-TV, that the couple’s three children were in the back seat of the SUV when police shot him.

“That man just literally grabbed him by his shirt and looked the other way and was just shooting him. With the kids in the back screaming. Screaming,” she said.

The officers have been placed on administrative leave while the state Justice Department investigates.

The incident comes after global protests over the death of George Floyd in May. The 46-year-old Black man died after a white Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes during arrest. 

Presidential candidate Joe Biden has condemned the incident. 

“This morning, the nation wakes up yet again with grief and outrage that yet another Black American is a victim of excessive force,” he said, just over two months ahead of the presidential election. 

“Those shots pierce the soul of our nation.”