A man shot several times by police in Kenosha, Wisconsin is still fighting for his life while undergoing surgical procedures. Bullets severed Jacob Blake Jr.’s spinal cord and shattered at least one vertebrae and he is paralyzed from the waist down. According to his attorney Benjamin Crump “it will take a miracle” for Blake to walk again.
Blake was shot at least seven times by Kenosha, Wisconsin police just after 5 p.m. Sunday. Officers were responding to the area for a reported "domestic incident."
Officers did not say what led up to the shooting, but video shot by a neighbor shows Blake walking to an SUV and attempting to enter it moments before an officer grabs him by the shirt and shoots him.
Blake’s three young boys were in the car at the time. His family says Blake’s eight-year-old son was celebrating his birthday over the weekend. “Think of that son, and what he will be thinking about every time he celebrates his birthday,” Crump said.
“They shot my son, seven times, seven times. Like he didn’t matter. He matters. He’s a human being, and he matters,” said Blake’s father, Jacob Blake Sr., becoming emotional Tuesday afternoon.
Blake is conscious and was able to talk to his mother when she visited him in the hospital.
“I don’t think he knows about all this, he doesn’t know what happened. He opened his eyes and started to cry. He started to apologize,” I asked him why, and he didn’t know what happened.
As she started to pray, Blake asked the officer in the room if he was a man of faith, “he said yes, in short, and he (Blake) asked him to pray with us,” Jackson recalled from visiting her son in the hospital.
Blake has holes in his stomach from the bullets, and has damage to other internal organs and his arm. His family and attorneys say he has a “long road to recovery” and more surgeries ahead. The family said they are not sure if Blake’s paralysis is permanent.
“I am asking everyone, take a moment and examine your heart. Citizens, police officers, firemen, clergy, politicians. Do Jacob justice on this level, and examine your hearts. We need healing,” Blake’s mother, Julia Jackson said.
“God did not make one type of tree,” she said, “how dare you ask him to make one type of human that looks just like you. I’m not talking to just caucasian people, I’m talking to everyone. No one is superior to another.”
Jackson called for everyone to work together to show the world how humans are supposed to treat each other. “America is great when we behave greatly.”
Attorney Crump and co-counsel will bring a civil lawsuit to hold those responsible accountable and to help get Blake and his family resources for his recovery. Blake’s family is represented by Attorney Crump, along with co-counsels Attorney Patrick Salvi and Attorney B’Ivory LaMarr, who call the incident “brutal excessive force.”
The attorneys are asking for transparency from the police investigating the incident. They are calling for any available dashcam video and statements from witnesses about what led to the shooting.
Protests in Blake's honor happened across the country Monday night, including in Portland, San Diego, New York, Minneapolis, and Denver.
Police declared a riot in Portland after fires were set outside of the offices of the police association. In San Diego, at least three protesters were arrested.
Locally, anger over Blake's shooting spilled into the streets of Kenosha for a second night Monday. Police again fired tear gas at hundreds of protesters who defied a curfew, threw bottles and shot fireworks at law enforcement guarding the courthouse.
Wisconsin Democratic Gov. Tony Evers activated 125 members of the National Guard to assist local law enforcement Monday.