Jacob Blake Gives Moving Statement From His Hospital Bed

Shannon Barbour
·6 mins read
Photo credit: KEREM YUCEL - Getty Images
Photo credit: KEREM YUCEL - Getty Images

From Cosmopolitan

  • Wisconsin police shot Jacob Blake in the back seven times as his children watched from a car.

  • Jacob Blake broke up a fight earlier that day and was leaving the area when he was shot.

  • The 29-year-old is now paralyzed from the waist down and has eight holes in his body.

On Sunday, August 23, Jacob Blake, 29, reportedly broke up a fight and was leaving the area when Kenosha, Wisconsin police officers tried to arrest him and officer Rusten Sheskey shot him in the back seven times. Three of his children watched from their car as their father went “limp.” Blake survived but is now paralyzed, has eight holes in his body, and is handcuffed to his hospital bed, according to his family.

The police shooting was captured on cell phone video by a neighbor and shared widely across social platforms and various outlets. (Reminder: You personally don’t need to continue sharing videos of Black people being brutalized to show you care or raise awareness. Before you share one of these videos, think about how it will traumatize people who see it.) Following months of nationwide protests and calls for police reform and abolition, the shooting immediately sparked new demonstrations in Wisconsin.

Since Sunday, Kenosha County instituted an 8 p.m. curfew and told the public to “stay off the streets.” According to the Wisconsin Department of Justice, all officers present at the time of the shooting were placed on administrative leave. In addition, the Wisconsin Department of Justice is conducting an investigation.

If you’re looking for ways to help demand justice for Blake and support his family, check out the resources below:

Keep Protesting

Attend a protest or protest from home and demand justice for Black lives. The Black Lives Matter protests haven't stopped, and a new report from the US Crisis Project detailed how 93 percent of the demonstrations since George Floyd's murder have been peaceful. Continue to show up for what you believe in and honor Blake, who recently released a video asking everyone to "stick together, make some money, make everything easier for our people out here, man, because there's so much time that's been wasted."

From his hospital bed, he added:

"I just want to say, man, to all the young cats out there and even the older ones, older than me, there's a lot more life to live out here, man. Your life, and not only just your life, your legs—something that you need to move around and move forward in life—can be taken from you like this."

Donate

  • Blake’s family created a GoFundMe to help them with medical bills, legal fees, support for his six children, and the cost of therapy.

  • To help protect protestors in Kenosha, the Milwaukee Freedom Fund pledged to extend its resources. Donations to the bail fund will help free protestors who are arrested and need assistance with their cases.

View this post on Instagram

Milwaukee Freedom Fund wants to extend our support to protesters in Kenosha. Our request help form is linked in bio (https://bit.ly/MFFArrestHelp). We help with bail/tickets/connecting protesters to lawyers. Info for protesters: ▪️Make sure there is someone outside of protesting that knows your legal name and birthday so we can look you up if we need to. ▪️If you are arrested- DO NOT TALK about what happened while in jail unless you are talking to your lawyer. Phones and visiting rooms are recorded. ▪️You have the right to remain silent and ask for a lawyer. Most arrested protesters are ticketed and released that process can take hours. If someone is detained, their bail is set and charges are read usually the first time they see a judge. In Milwaukee, that’s been a few days. Once bail is set we can help pay it, if you’re given a ticket for protesting we can help pay that too, if you need a lawyer we can do our best to set you up with one. *We are not lawyers and we cannot go to precincts directly. We are volunteers who will help the best we can. Info we have on what happened: The young man with his children is a 29 year old father named Jacob Blake. He was tasered and shot in the back 7 times today by police officers in Kenosha, Wisconsin. There is a video of the entire incident, but we will not be posting that footage here. There was no point and time that a firearm should have been pulled, let alone this man be shot 7 times, in the back, while trapped by his vehicle. His condition is unclear. Varying reports at this time. If there are additional actions to show up for or links to support his family please let us know. #milwaukeefreedomfund

A post shared by Milwaukee Freedom Fund (@mkefreedomfund) on Aug 23, 2020 at 8:39pm PDT

Sign a Petition

Change.org and Color of Change created petitions to demand that the police officers who shot Blake are fired and arrested. While you’re at it, you could also sign Black Lives Matters’ petition to defund the police.

Contact Representatives

The night Blake was shot, Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers released a statement saying, “While we do not have all of the details yet, what we know for certain is that he is not the first Black man or person to have been shot or injured or mercilessly killed at the hands of individuals in law enforcement in our state or our country.”

To get the attention of local representatives and to demand the officers be fired and charged, use this contact information gathered by podcast host Ankita Verma:

  • Kenosha Mayor John Antaramian

Phone: 262-653-4000

Email: mayor@kenosha.org

  • Kenosha District Attorney Michael D. Graveley

Phone: 262-653-2400

Email: michael.graveley@da.wi.gov

  • Kenosha Police Department

Phone: 262-656-1234

Twitter: @KenoshaPolice

  • Kenosha Police Department Chief of Police Daniel G. Miskinis

Email: dgm398@kenoshapolice.com

  • Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul

Phone: 608-266-1221

Twitter: @WisDOJ

  • Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers

Madison office: 608-266-1212

Milwaukee office: 414-227-4344

Twitter: @GovEvers

Here are more guides for how to demand justice right now, how to support Black trans lives, how to find mental health resources if you’re a Black woman, how to talk to your relatives about Black Lives Matter, how to donate wisely, how to spot a fake protest story, and how to protest safely.

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