Jacob Blake, the 29-year-old father who was shot several times by police in Kenosha Wisconsin last Sunday (Aug. 23) has been left paralyzed from the waist down. Civil Rights attorney Benjamin Crump, who was hired to represent Blake’s family, said that it would take “a miracle” for him to walk again.
Blake was trying to deescalate a domestic altercation when Kenosha police drew their weapons and shot him in the back at point blank range. He was hit at least seven times. Blake was unarmed and not breaking the law. His three sons, ages 3,5, and 8, were in the backseat of his SUV and witnessed their father being shot.
“These three little boys are going to have psychological problems for the rest of their lives. Can you imagine what his 8-year-old son is going to think about every time he has a birthday? This is real America. This is what we [Black people] have to endure every day: being profiled by the people who are supposed to protect and serve us.”
THIS is what we endure daily. THIS pain is real. THIS is why we demand police reform and justice for Jacob Blake, George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and so many others! #JusticeForJacobBlake pic.twitter.com/OVzHIV8DBZ
— Ben Crump (@AttorneyCrump) August 25, 2020
The horrific shooting was captured on video by witness Raysean White, who said that he saw officers scuffling with Blake. According to 22-year-old White, police yelled “Drop the knife!” at Blake, even though there was no knife in his hand. Witnesses said cops taser Blake before shooting him. In 2017, Wisconsin became the first state to make it mandatory for police to wear body cams, yet none of the officers involved in Blake’s shooting were wearing body cameras.
Blake was walking back to his SUV to check on his children with police officers trailing him before drawing their weapons. As Blake opened his car door, a cop is seen pulling at his shirt while shooting him in the back as his children watch in horror.
Blake’s family spoke out in an emotional press conference on Tuesday (Aug. 25). “They shot my son seven times, seven times like he didn’t matter. But my son matters. He’s a human being and he matters,” said Blake’s father, Jacob Blake Sr.
Blake’s mother, Julia Jackson, spoke about her son’s condition as he continues healing from his injuries. She said that he was unaware that protest erupted in wake of the shooting and that he would want supporters to remain non-violent. Jackson also said that his first words after the accident were that he was “sorry.”
“He said, ‘I don’t want to be a burden on your guys. I want to be with my children, and I don’t think I’ll walk again,’” said Jackson.
Blake’s sister shared a powerful message on the affects of police brutality. “I am my brother’s keeper,” she began. “And when you say the name Jacob Blake make sure you say father, cousin, son, uncle, but most importantly make sure you say human. Human life. Let it marinate in your mouth, in your mind. A human life just like every single one of y’all. We’re human and his life matters.
“So many people have reached out to me telling me they’re sorry that this happened to my family,” she continued. “Well don’t be sorry because this has been happening to my family for a long time. Longer than I can account for. It happened to Emmett Till, Emmett Till is my family. Philando [Castile], Mike Brown, Sandra [Bland], this has been happening to my family and I’ve shed tears for every single one of these people that this has happened to. This is nothing new. I’m not sad, I’m not sorry, I’m angry and I’m tried. I haven’t cried one time. I stop crying years ago. I am numb I have been watching police murder people that look like me for year.”
An Change.org petition demanding charges against the cops who shot Blake has already received more than 500,000 signatures. In addition, a Go Fund Me campaign created to help Blake’s children has so far received more than $1.2 million in donations.
Watch the full press conference below.