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Protests erupt in Wisconsin after police shoot black man Jacob Blake in front of his children

Violent protests have erupted in Wisconsin after police shot Jacob Blake, a black resident of Kenosha, as his three sons watched on.

Violent protests have swept across Wisconsin after police shot Jacob Blake, a black resident of Kenosha, as his three sons witnessed the brutal event.

The shooting, which occured on Sunday, was captured in a brief but heartbreaking video, and Blake remains in critical condition at a Milwaukee hospital.

The video, taken on a mobile phone from across the street, shows 29-year-old Blake walking towards his grey SUV, closely followed by two officers on foot.

Seven gunshot sounds can then be heard as Blake opens the car door, as his young sons sit in the car watching the ordeal unfold.

A man identified as a friend of Blake’s told local TV station WISN 12 that it was Blake’s son’s birthday, and his son was in the car when he was shot. “It could have been de-escalated,” the man said of the cops’ handling of the situation. “You see the video. He wasn’t a threat to nobody.”

The Wisconsin Department of Justice is currently investigating the incident, and all the officers involved have been placed on administrative leave.

The community response to the video has mirrored the events following the brutal killing of George Floyd, with social media spotlighting the crowds of people marching down streets of Kenosha, throwing Molotov cocktails and bricks at police officers.

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

Civil rights attorney Ben Crump has said Mr Blake’s family asked that the demonstrations remain peaceful, with the belief that “violence” is not the “solution”.