A GoFundMe to support Jacob Blake and his family has raised more than $1 million just one day after the fundraising campaign was launched
Jacob Blake Sr and Julia Jackson, the parents of Jacob Blake Jr, arrive with family members outside of the county court
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Lawyers representing the family of Jacob Blake, the Black man shot in the back at point-blank range by police in Kenosha, Wis., announced that a civil suit would be launched against the Kenosha Police Department.
“This is real, America. This is what we have to endure every day. ... For Black America, this is our reality,” civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump said during a press conference with members of the Blake family and their legal team.
“We are demanding that the prosecutor arrest the officer who shot Jacob Blake,” Crump continued, adding that other officers involved in the incident should be “terminated immediately.”
Asked about the civil suit, the Kenosha Police Department directed to the Wisconsin Department of Justice (DOJ), which is investigating the shooting. The Wisconsin DOJ did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Blake, 29, was shot multiple times in Kenosha on Sunday afternoon after officers responded to a reported domestic incident.
Graphic cellphone footage showed Blake walking away from a pair of police officers toward his car. As he attempted to get in his car — where his three children were — an unidentified officer could be seen pulling Blake back by his shirt before firing off several rounds.
Witnesses have said that Blake was not a part of the incident but was trying to break it up when police arrived.
State Attorney General Josh Kaul (D) on Monday vowed to "vigorously and fully investigate" what happened.
Crump said that Blake was in critical condition and undergoing surgery on Tuesday afternoon. Earlier in the day, the lawyer tweeted that Blake was paralyzed from his waist down, with Crump adding during the press conference that it would be a “miracle” if Blake were able to walk again.
Patrick Salvi, another attorney working for the family, detailed Blake's injuries, reporting that the bullets had punctured his stomach and done severe damage to his spinal cord. Salvi added that the majority of Blake's colon and large intestine also had to be removed and that more surgeries awaited him.
“They shot my son seven times, like he didn’t matter, but he matters. He’s a human being, and he matters,” Jacob Blake Sr. said during the press conference.
Julia Jackson, Blake’s mother, described what happened to her son as a “senseless attempted murder.”
She also said that the violence and property damage that have occurred in Kenosha since Sunday do not “reflect my son or my family.”
“I’m encouraging everyone in Wisconsin and abroad to take a moment to examine your hearts. We need healing,” she said.
Protests have rocked Kenosha the past two days. In response, a curfew of 8 p.m. has been instituted and Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers (D) mobilized the state’s National Guard. Tuesday afternoon, Evers announced that he would be increasing the National Guard’s presence in the city.
“We are assessing the damage to state property and will be increasing the presence of the Wisconsin National Guard to ensure individuals can exercise their right safely, protect state buildings and critical infrastructure, and support first responders and fire fighters,” Evers tweeted.
Police brutality, protests and the Black Lives Matter movement have been in the national spotlight since the end of May, when George Floyd, a Black man, was killed in Minneapolis.
A GoFundMe to support Jacob Blake and his family has raised more than $1 million just one day after the fundraising campaign was launched.
Blake, 29, was shot by Kenosha, Wis., police on Sunday. Cellphone footage of the shooting quickly went viral, showing multiple shots fired as Kenosha officers trailed the Black man as he attempted to enter his vehicle.
Three of Blake’s children were in the car at the time of the shooting.
Blake’s family said Tuesday that the man is paralyzed from the waist down. He remains hospitalized in serious condition, and his father said there are now “eight holes” in the lower half of his body.
The GoFundMe campaign, which was launched on Monday, has raised $1,120,780 from more than 40,000 donors as of Tuesday afternoon. It has a goal of $2 million.
“As we fight for Justice and understanding, our family has and will face many trials during this time. Jacob Blake is a loving father of 6 that deserves proper medical attention and legal representation,” the campaign, organized by Julia Jackson, said.
The description for the campaign states that the funds will go toward “Jacob’s medical bills, family expenses, legal representation, support for his children and therapy costs.”
A judge ruled that a former South Carolina restaurant manager who forced a Black man with intellectual disabilities to work more than 100 hours a week without pay, owes the former employee more than $500,000. According to The Post and Courier, Bobby Paul Edwards, 56, is serving a 10-year prison sentence for forcing John Christopher Smith, 43, to work at J&J Cafeteria without pay.
A judge on Wednesday denied requests to release body-camera video in the case of a Black man who was shot to death by North Carolina deputies as they tried to arrest him on drug-related warrants. Judge Jeffery Foster said he believed the videos contained information that could harm the investigation or threaten the safety of people seen in the footage. He said the video must remain out of public view for at least 30 days.
Attorneys for the family of Andrew Brown, a Black man killed by deputies last week, said on Tuesday an independent autopsy showed he was shot five times, including in the back of the head. “It was a kill shot to the back of the head,” one attorney, Ben Crump, told reporters. “It went into the base of the neck, bottom of the skull and got lost in his brain. That was the cause of death.” Another lawyer, Wayne Kendall, said Brent Hall, a former medical examiner in Boone, North Carolina, hired by the Brown family, had examined Andrew Brown’s body.
The jury’s guilty verdict on the former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin for killing George Floyd signaled the conclusion of a historic police brutality trial and a key moment for policing and for the battle for racial equality in America. Observers have talked about this case being so significant that it will stand as a watershed between the way law enforcement was held to account in the US before George Floyd was pinned by the neck under Chauvin’s knee, and after.