A crowd of about 1,000 demonstrators have gathered outside a Wisconsin courthouse to denounce police violence a week after an officer shot 29-year-old black man Jacob Blake in the back.
The diverse group of protesters also chanted “seven bullets, seven days” — a reference to the number of times Mr Blake was shot last Sunday — as they marched toward the courthouse in Kenosha.
There, Mr Blake’s father, Jacob Blake Sr, gave an impassioned call for changing a system he described as fostering police brutality and racial inequities.
There were seven bullets put in my son’s back. Hell yeah, I’m madJacob Blake Sr
“There were seven bullets put in my son’s back. Hell yeah, I’m mad,” Mr Blake Sr said.
“What gave (the police) the right to attempted murder on my child? What gave them the right to think that my son was an animal? What gave them the right to take something that was not theirs? I’m tired of this.”
Kenosha police officer Rusten Sheskey and two other officers were responding to a domestic abuse call last Sunday when Mr Sheskey shot Mr Blake in the back.
Mr Blake Sr told reporters on Saturday that his son is heavily sedated, but has regained consciousness.
“He’s in a lot of pain,” he said.
“I just wish I could pick my baby up and make it all right.”
He called for Mr Sheskey to be charged and for the other two officers at the scene to be fired.
Several of Saturday’s speakers encouraged the crowd to vote for change in November, and to push for changing legislation in Wisconsin that would lead to police reform.
One of Mr Blake’s sisters, Letetra Widman, said she felt recharged “to stand up not just for Jacob, but for all the people who have not gotten justice.”
Captured on cellphone video, the shooting sparked new protests against racial injustice and police brutality months after George Floyd’s death touched off a wider reckoning on race.
Protesters have marched in Kenosha every night since Mr Blake’s shooting, with some protests devolving into unrest with damage to buildings and vehicles.
On Tuesday, two people were killed by an armed civilian.
The commander of the National Guard said on Friday that more than 1,000 Guard members had been deployed to help keep the peace, with more on the way.
President Donald Trump will visit Kenosha on Tuesday to meet with law enforcement and survey damage from recent demonstrations that turned violent, White House spokesman Judd Deere told reporters travelling with the president on Saturday night.