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The officer-involved shooting of a black suspect, Jacob Blake, in the city of Kenosha, Wisconsin on Sunday, has sparked three straight days of extreme burning, looting, and violence. The incident has also fired up debate over the circumstances of the shooting.
President Trump announced on Wednesday that he will be sending the National Guard to the area to quell the lawlessness.
Sen. Lindsey Graham expressed a sentiment expressed by scores of Americans who watched a Kenosha police officer put seven rounds into Jacob Blake on Sunday: Why didn’t he obey officers’ instructions?
In comments to reporters during a press conference with the South Carolina Fraternal Order of Police on Tuesday, the long-serving GOP lawmaker said Blake should have “yielded” to officers, which most likely would not have resulted in his being shot by police.
“’I don’t know what happened there. Let’s find out. It’s dangerous being a cop,” Graham, who is reportedly facing a tight reelection bid in November, said.
“I don’t know why the gentleman didn’t yield when he was asked to yield. I don’t know what the facts are,” he added.
One officer is seen attempting to grab Blake before firing the seven shots that have left him paralyzed from the waist down, according to reports.
“Police are not above the law,” Graham noted further. “There are places where police act with impunity. This is not one of those nations.”
A number of social media users have asked the same question in one form or another: Why didn’t Black just obey officers’ commands?
My question is why why didn't Jacob Blake comply with police officers. I know that resisting shouldn't mean a death sentence but why didn't he just follow direction? I'm not trying to blame Mr. Blake but that is a valid question.
— Marie (@lawyer822) August 26, 2020
Praying for Mr. Jacob Blake’s full and fast recovery. This is going to be have two completely different coverages
1. CNN: Cops were racist and man did nothing wrong
2. FOX: He didn’t follow the officers commands and he has a long rap sheet.
TRUTH: Why did you open that door bro pic.twitter.com/3GlLK7ZN3P
— Let Me Live (@PRETTYDOPE1985) August 24, 2020
#DonLemonCNN why didn't Jacob Blake follow directions for responding officers,as the man is known for assaulting police officers.I hear your suggestion but I have a better suggestion,perhaps the police should stop responding to the addresses known for assaulting police officers.
— Don (@Donniegray12) August 25, 2020
A second video that has not been as widely reported appears to show Blake struggling on the ground with two of the three officers who responded to a “domestic violence” call Sunday afternoon.
In that video, a woman can be heard saying repeatedly, “Get my gun, get my gun,” as well as a younger woman screaming, “Mom, get back! Mom! You have to get back!”
Blake’s father, also named Jacob, said his son has eight wounds and that he is currently paralyzed from the waist down, though doctors have not yet determined if the paralysis is permanent, the Daily Mail reported.
The shooting sparked three nights of rioting and looting, as Black Lives Matter supporters smashed storefronts and lit businesses on fire.
It also sparked more death. Tuesday night, a video posted online showed two rioters being shot and killed while a third was wounded by a man carrying a semi-automatic rifle was chased down a street.
Reports also noted that the wounded man may have been carrying a handgun, according to social media posts from independent journalist Andy Ngo and others.
Kenosha County Board Chairman John O’Day and Vice Chairwoman Monica Yuhas sent a letter Tuesday to Democratic Gov. Tony Evers demanding that he send 1,500 National Guard troops and give them “police powers.”
Board members “are urgently asking for your swift action to activate more National Guard troops with police powers to be sent to Kenosha County. Our county is under attack. Our businesses are under attack. Our homes are under attack. Our local law enforcement agencies need additional support to help bring civility back to our community,” the letter states.
“Our county is in a state of emergency and we need additional law enforcement to help preserve and save Kenosha County,” it added.
For his part, Evers condemned the officers involved in the shooting shortly after it occurred, despite having no details.
“We encourage you to visit Kenosha County and see firsthand the destruction that has been inflicted on our community,” the letter says.
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