The shooting incident documented on video sparked a new wave of protests in the US against police brutality targeting Black Americans.
The father read the Quran chapter after announcing that Jacob Blake is paralyzed from the waist down due to the police shooting. He made the announcement during a press conference on Tuesday, August 25, two days after the shooting.
Jacob Blake’s father reads the first chapter of the Quran, Surah al-Fatihah, for his son who is paralysed after being shot by Kenosha police. Another incident where an unarmed black American was shot by US police pic.twitter.com/N0q1DAU2LC
— Uzair Hasan Rizvi (@RizviUzair) August 25, 2020
Surah Al-Fatiha is one of the most important chapters in the Quran. Its recitation is mandatory in prayers. Muslims also often recite it in both happy and sad ceremonies, such as weddings and funerals.
“My family is very diverse, and we don’t represent just one thing,” Jacob Blake’s father said just before reciting the Quran, in an apparent nod to the pervasive misconception of a monolithic Black American community.
One day after the shooting, four Muslim organizations, including the Muslim Advocates in Washington and the American Albanian Islamic Center of Wisconsin, issued a joint statement denouncing the incident.
“Yet again, police officers committed horrifying, infuriating violence against a Black person. Our hearts go out to Jacob Blake, who we hope survives this shooting,” the statement said.
The shooting occurred on Sunday, August 23, when police responded to a 911 call about a domestic dispute in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
According to witnesses cited by international media, Jacob Blake parked his car near some women shouting at each other on the sidewalk. Blake’s attorney, Benjamin Crump, said the victim “was attempting to de-escalate a fight between two other people when officers arrived at the scene.”
After the cops’ arrival, Blake tried to enter his parked vehicle to check on his three sons sitting in the backseat.
A video documenting the incident showed police officers attempting to subdue Blake as he entered his car. One of the officers tried to grab him and then, when Blake leaned inside his car, the officer pulled his gun and fired at least seven shots at Blake’s back. According to the attorney, four of the seven bullets hit Blake.
The person who recorded the video told media outlets that he heard police yelling “drop the knife.” However, he affirmed that he “did not see any weapons in [Blake’s] hands, [and that] he was not being violent.”
The shooting unleashed a wave of protests in the city of Kenosha, prompting, at times, clashes between protesters and police officers.
The demonstrators expressed their anger at the recurring police brutality incidents in front of Kenosha’s courthouse.
Several photos and videos shared by international media documented escalation in the demonstrations, leading to violence and destruction.
On the third night of the protests, between August 25-26, Kenosha County Sheriff David Beth announced two deaths and one “non-life threatening” injury among demonstrators, CNN reported.
The sheriff suspects the casualties occurred from a shooting between demonstrators and armed men who were protecting businesses, the same night heavily armed riot police fired tear gas into a crowd of protestors.
Kenosha is currently under a state of emergency. The US National Guard has deployed 250 troops to the county to contain the acts of violence.