‘We are all a part of the same fraternity’: Jacob Blake’s father reacts to Chauvin verdict

Race in America

CHICAGO (NewsNation Now) — It’s a pain that only a handful of families could understand, the loss or injury of a loved one in a high-profile case.

Over the past year, the families of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Jacob Blake have bonded over their tragedies privately while being propelled into the national spotlight.

The father of Jacob Blake, Jacob Blake Sr., told NewsNation he shares a special connection with the Floyd family.

“We all became a part of the same fraternity. Because each one of the families had experienced police brutality in a way that was not acceptable,” Blake said.

Last year, Jacob Blake Jr. was shot seven times in the back after Blake opened the door to an SUV during a videotaped altercation with police in Kenosha, Wisconsin.

Blake, whose children were in the SUV when he was shot, was left partially paralyzed.

“And I could feel just every day Philonise and his family having to watch over and over and over and hear details over and over again,” said Blake.

Last month, Blake filed a lawsuit accusing the officer of excessive force.

The Blake case elicited strong reactions with supporters for and against the police coming out to protest over the summer.

Protesters hold a banner during a community celebration and call for justice for Jacob Blake as grassroots group MoveOn flies an airplane banner and drives a mobile billboard calling on voters to “Reject Trump’s Violence,” in response to Donald Trump’s visit on September 01, 2020 in Kenosha, Wisconsin. (Photo by Daniel Boczarski/Getty Images for MoveOn)

“When I started receiving death threats in Wisconsin, it was unbelievable to me. All I was doing was standing up for my son and they were telling me they would kill me. Why?” asked Blake.

He says connecting with the Floyd family helped him get through some of the hardest days.

“Some days when the sun comes up and you already been up for two hours, but the sun is finally up and you have to peel yourself out of the bed. When you’re still dealing with this immense weight. You can pick up the phone and we can call each other. And inside of seconds we laughing about something. Or you know we’re teasing each other.”

The outcome of the Chauvin trial could lead to police reform says Blake.

“It’s not abolishing the police. It’s abolishing the way they police and starting from the beginning. It’s not taking away the rights of the total police department,” he said.

The verdict though doesn’t take away the heartache from these families though.

“I understand at the same time that no matter what the verdict is. It’s not going to bring George back,” said Blake.

Watch the full interview in the player above.

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