The family of Jacob Blake wants to know how many more times people of color will have to endure the use of excessive force by officers before police are held accountable.
The question was posed at a press conference in Kenosha on Tuesday. Julia Jackson, Blake's mother, told the crowd that prayers are needed and that people need to examine their hearts. Jacob Blake, who is Black, remains hospitalized. He was shot in the back at close range by police on Sunday.
“We need healing. As I pray for my sons healing physically, emotionally and spiritually, I also have been praying even before this for the healing our country,” Jackson says.
Last night, protests turned deadly. Two people were killed and another injured. Earlier in the day, Jackson called for the destruction to end because it’s not what she nor anyone else in her family wants. When it comes to what they do want, lawyers say that’s simple. To hold the wrongdoers accountable for this injustice, resources to get the best medical care possible and due process under the law.
Right now, Blake is paralyzed from the waist down. He suffered both a spinal cord injury as well as injury to his vertebra, he had to have a portion of his colon removed and his kidneys and liver were damaged.
As for Blake's children, mainly the three who watched police shoot their dad, Attorney Ben Crump says concern remain. And for Blake's father, also named Jacob Blake, the mere mention of his grandsons has him overcome with sorrow.
“These three little boys are going to have psychological problems for the rest of their life. Can you imagine what his 8-year-old son who was celebrating his birthday is going to think about every time he has his birthday? The pain … can you imagine? This is real. This is real America,” Crump says.
Jacob Blake Sr. says that at this point, nothing anyone could say would be acceptable.
“I don’t have confidence in anybody that is white that is doing an investigation about a black young man that was shot seven times in his back and haven’t come up with an answer or a comment at this point is not welcome,” he says.
The mayor of Kenosha has said that the officers will be held accountable for their actions as found necessary by the district attorney. The State Department of Justice is investigating the incident and plans to have a report to the DA within 30 days.
Blake’s shooting at the hands of white police officers is just the latest such case in the United States. For months now, protests have been happening across the country in the aftermath of the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
Attorney Crump says what happened to Blake is just one example of why it is necessary for people to say Black Lives Matter.