‘My son matters. He’s a human being, and he matters’: Jacob Blake’s family speaks out as he undergoes another surgery

Race in America
The family attorney for a Black man shot by police in Wisconsin said Tuesday that Jacob Blake is paralyzed and it would “take a miracle” for him to walk again. Nichole Berlie reports.

KENOSHA, Wis. (NewsNation) —  The family attorney for a Black man shot by police in Wisconsin said Tuesday that Jacob Blake is paralyzed and it would “take a miracle” for him to walk again.

Attorney Ben Crump, speaking alongside family members of Jacob Blake, said he is undergoing another surgery on Tuesday after he was shot at least seven times in a confrontation captured on cellphone video Sunday.

“They shot my son seven times, seven times, like he didn’t matter,” said Blake’s father, who is also named Jacob Blake. “But my son matters. He’s a human being and he matters.”

Crump said Blake was trying to de-escalate a domestic incident and that his three children – aged 3, 5 and 8 – were inside the car at the time of the shooting.

“All my grandson asks repeatedly is, ‘why did the police shoot my daddy in the back?'” Blake Sr. said.

Blake’s fiancé, LaQuisha Booker, during an earlier interview with reporters said, “My kids is in the car -was just shooting him with the kids in the back screaming!”

Crump said bullets pierced Blake’s spine and shattered one of his ribs, puncturing a lung, damaging his liver and creating holes in his stomach.

“My son has been fighting for his life and we just really need prayers,” Julia Jackson, Blake’s mother, said. “As I was riding through here, through the city, I noticed a lot of damage. That doesn’t reflect my son or my family, as I pray for my son’s healing, physically and emotionally and spiritually, I also have been praying even before this for the healing of our country.”

Jackson said in an emotional speech that she had been praying for the country and condemning the recent violence.

“Clearly you can see by now I have beautiful brown skin. But take a look at your hand, whatever shade it is, it is beautiful as well. How dare we hate what we are? We are humans. God did not make one type of tree or flower or fish or horse or grass or rock. How dare he ask to make one type of human that looks just like you.”

Julia jackson, jacob blake’s mother

Jackson visited Blake earlier in the day Tuesday and said he asked the police officer in the room to pray with them.

Another family attorney said they would be filing a civil lawsuit against the police department over the shooting.

“This is real America,” said Crump. “This is real. Being profiled every single day by the people who are supposed to serve us.”

“Heaven is full to its capacity with victims who have been taken at the hands of law enforcement,” said lawyer B’Ivory LaMarr.

The officers were placed on administrative leave, which is standard practice in a shooting by police. Authorities released no details about the officers and did not immediately respond to requests for their service records. Police have said little about what happened, other than that they were responding to a domestic dispute. The Wisconsin Department of Justice is investigating.

A GoFundMe campaign to cover Blake’s medical bills, legal representation, therapy costs and family expenses has raised more than $1.2 million as of Tuesday at 5 p.m. EST. A GoFundMe spokesperson confirmed with NewsNation that the campaign was created by Blake’s family.

Protests over the shooting filled the streets of Kenosha for a second night Monday, after Gov. Tony Evers deployed 125 Wisconsin National Guard members in response to anticipated unrest.

Since the shooting, anger has spilled into the streets of Kenosha and other cities, including Los Angeles, Wisconsin’s capital of Madison and in Minneapolis, the epicenter of the Black Lives Matter movement this summer following George Floyd’s death.

Hundreds of protesters defied an 8 p.m. curfew Monday night, massing in downtown Kenosha, where they were met by a wall of law enforcement officers, including 125 members of the Wisconsin National Guard.

Evers declared a state of emergency following the protests across the state on Tuesday afternoon.

The Associated Press and NewsNation affiliate WGN contributed to this report.

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