KENOSHA — It may "take a miracle" for Jacob Blake to walk again, after at least seven bullets fired from a Kenosha Police Officer's handgun severed his spinal cord and shattered at least one vertebrae. Blake is now paralyzed from the waist down, his family's lawyer, Benjamin Crump, said Tuesday.
"A large black family reunion, who all stand united in prayer for Jacob Blake to recover from this brutal use of excessive force once again on an African American that was captured on video. That is shocking, and outrageous, and devastating," Crump said during a press conference with Blake's family. Crump was the attorney for the families of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and George Floyd.
Blake's mother said, "my son, he is fighting for his life. We really just need prayers."
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His family said Blake is conscious in the hospital, and was able to talk to family members during an in-person visit.
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.”
“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.
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.
Blake's mother added: "As I was riding through here in this city [of Kenosha], I noticed a lot of damage. It doesn't reflect my son or my family. if Jacob knew what was going on as far as that goes, the violence and the destruction, he would be very unpleased."
Protests across Wisconsin and the nation broke out in the wake of Blake's shooting. In some areas, looting and vandalism also occured, especially in Kenosha, where businesses were heavily damaged and cars set on fire.
Gov. Tony Evers has activated 250 Wisconsin National Guards to assist local authorities with dealing with the unrest. The governor also announced a state of emergency for Wisconsin, and the City of Kenosha remains under curfew.