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August 25, 2020

Jacob Blake is paralyzed from the waist down after police officers shot him in the back eight times on Sunday night, his father tells the Chicago Sun-Times.

Police shot Blake, a 29-year-old Black man, on a street in Kenosha, Wisconsin, as he was getting into his SUV, where his children were sitting inside. Video of the shooting quickly started circulating, and turned Kenosha into the latest center of protests against police brutality and racism.

Blake's father, also named Jacob Blake, told the Sun-Times that when he talked to the younger Blake on Sunday morning, he was preparing to celebrate his son's eighth birthday. But now, there are "eight holes" in his Blake's body, and his lower body is paralyzed with no word on if his injury is permanent, the elder Blake said. Witnesses say Blake was trying to break up a verbal fight when two police officers arrived at the scene.

Protests broke out Sunday night at the scene of the shooting and at the Kenosha County Public Safety Building and have continued since. The city instituted a curfew and Gov. Tony Evers (D) called in 125 members of the National Guard on Monday, but people stayed out anyway and set some buildings on fire later that night. Peaceful protests have continued throughout the day as well.

To Blake's father, the police were "the flint as well as the gasoline" sparking those fires and protest, he told the Sun-Times. "Those police officers that shot my son like a dog in the street are responsible for everything that has happened in the city of Kenosha," he continued. Read more of what Jacob Blake's father had to say at the Chicago Sun-Times. Kathryn Krawczyk

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