Jacob Blake's family stand to share powerful words about Blake's condition and the history of violence towards black people.
On Sunday, August 23rd, in Kenosha County, Jacob Blake was attempting to 'de-escalate a domestic incident' when police arrived at the scene. It is unclear what happened in that time but harrowing footage shows one cop following an unarmed Blake to his car.
That very officer shot Jacob Blake in the back a total of 7 times. The incident occurred in front of Blake's children while he was getting into his parked SUV.
With a bullet severing his spinal cord and shattering vertebrae, lawyer Ben Crump has stated that it will be a miracle if Blake will be able to ever walk again. Crump told BBC News:
His family believe in miracles, but the medical diagnosis right now is that he is paralysed and, because those bullets severed his spinal cord and shattered some of his vertebrae, it is going to take a miracle for Jacob Blake Jr to ever walk again.
The injuries that Blake sustained were so severe that he was also left with holes in his stomach as well as damage to his kidney and liver. Blake also had to get most of his colon and small intestine removed.
Blake's family make powerful statements
Jacob Blake's family recently spoke in a press conference uttering some very powerful words about the state of Jacobs' health and the systemic racism that inevitably caused the deaths and suffering of so many black people.
Blake's mother, Julia Jackson, informed the press that her son is currently 'fighting for his life' and his sister, Letetra Widman, spoke up to the press demanding change over pity. Widman started off:
When you say the name Jacob Blake, make sure you say father, make sure you say cousin, make sure you say son, make sure you say uncle. But most importantly, make sure you say human. Human life. Let it marinate in you mouth and in your mind, human life. Just like every single one of y'all and everywhere. We're human. His life matters.
Letetra went on to describe that police brutality towards black people has long been an issue and now is not the time to offer her family pity but to demand change.
So many people have reached out to me saying they're sorry that this happened to my family. 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, Mike Brown, Sandra. This has been happening to my family and I’ve shed tears for every single one of these people that it’s happened to. This is nothing new.
I’m not sad. I’m not sorry. I’m angry. And I’m tired. I haven’t cried one time. I stopped crying years ago. I am numb. I have been watching police murder people that look like me for years. I’m also a black history minor. So not only have I been watching it in the 30 years that I’ve been on this planet, but I’ve been watching it for years before we were even alive. I’m not sad. I don’t want your pity. I want change.
Blake was going through surgery when his family made the statements with Crump stating that Blake was 'struggling to sustain his life and to hopefully become some resemblance of the man he once was'.
Two of the officers involved in the shooting have been placed on administrative leave and the event is under investigation by the Wisconsin Department of Justice.
If you want to donate to Jacob Blake's family, a GoFundMe has been set up by Julia Jackson to cover medical bills, grief counselling, helping to support Blake's six children and assisting in the fight for justice.