Jacob Blake’s father has said that his family has received threats after the recent protests in Kenosha. He mentioned that people do not understand the kind of pressure the family is experiencing in this situation. He added that his 20-year-old son had to be hospitalized recently due to depression. The family has planned a peaceful rally in the afternoon, and they will also participate in the community cleanup and food drive tasks. The activities will be held at the site where the police shooting occurred on that fateful day.
Meanwhile, President Donald Trump visited the protest site on Tuesday and inspected the damage to local property. He got a mixed welcome with both supporters and Black Lives Matter signs being displayed during his visit to Kenosha. He said that he is not going to meet the family of Jacob Blake. Before Trump arrived at the city, the family and friends of Jacob Blake criticized Trump and his visit to Kenosha during this situation. They said that Trump’s visit would divide people and spread fear and chaos. They were of the opinion that Trump is trying to get a boost to his campaign by visiting Kenosha.
More than a week has passed since the fateful day when police officer Rusten Sheskey shot Jacob Blake seven times in the back and left him paralyzed from the waist down. After that, several protests erupted in the city in Kenosha and several other parts of the country. The department of Justice has launched a probe into the shooting incident of Jacob Blake. On the other hand, the fatal shooting by Kyle Rittenhouse that killed two protestors is being investigated by the Kenosha authorities. Kyle Rittenhouse is accused of shooting three protestors that left two dead and one injured in the incident.
John Pierce, who is the attorney for Rittenhouse, defended his actions saying that Kyle Rittenhouse was acting in self-defense, and he was attempting to protect the businesses and the community. As Kenosha was burning due to protests, he was trying to protect himself and the injured protestors.
In a statement released to the media, the Department of Criminal Investigation said that they have so far worked more than 600 hours on the Jacob Blake shooting incident. Along with the FBI, the DCI has conducted interviews of nearly 88 witnesses and collected nearly 100 pieces of evidence. They also said that they are analyzing over 28 videos related to the incident.
So far, there are two videos circulating in the media that show different moments of the incident that led to the shooting of Jacob Blake by a Kenosha police officer. Ben Crump, who is the attorney for the Blake family, said that there is another video that shows the complete details, and it will clear all misconceptions about the case. He revealed that the third video shows that Blake always tried to get away from the police, and he never posed a threat to them during the incident.
Patrick Salvi, who is another family attorney, said that the officer did not have to make a split-second decision in this situation as Blake never posed a threat to the officers. He said that there are many seconds of video evidence that shows that, police officers were the aggressors in this situation. It was not a kill or be killed kind of situation, and Jacob Blake never posed a threat in that situation. He added that the police officer was seen pulling the shirt of Blake and then fired seven bullets. He also questioned that if the officer was threatened with Blake having a knife, why did he stay so close and did not back off?
However, the Kenosha Professional Police Association alleged that Blake fought with the officers when they tried to arrest him and put an officer in a headlock. Apart from that, he also carried a knife, and he refused to drop it when the officers asked him to do so during the incident. Contradicting the claims of the police, Raysean White shot a recorded video of the incident and said that he did not see Blake having a knife or any other weapon. However, he also said that he only saw a part of the incident. Speaking to the media, Kenosha officials said that the last week has been relatively calm for the city, and the protests are peaceful. They also thanked the community for the efforts to restore the city back to normal.
The curfew in the city is extended till Tuesday night, and it will be relaxed on Wednesday as per mayor John Antaramian. Meanwhile, Blake’s father said that he was not interested in playing politics with the shooting incident. Trump, who visited the city, did not meet the family of Jacob Blake. He said that he did not want to meet them as lawyers were involved and felt that it was inappropriate. However, he met the pastor of the family.
Talking to the local officials of Kenosha during a roundtable discussion, Trump said that he would provide public safety resources and small business relief for the city and also provide millions of dollars of funding towards law enforcement. Giving a message to the family members of Blake, he said that he felt terrible that they had to go through the situation, and he was honored to meet the pastors of the family.
Kenosha Mayor and country executive have said that the visit of Trump comes at a wrong time when the city is reeling under such communal tension. They added that such visits by prominent people increase the burden of the Sheriff’s department, and they will try their best to protect him during the visit. Trump says that he was visiting Kenosha to boost the morale of police and Guard members. He added that the city would have gone through hell had he not sent the National Guard. However, many local people felt that this was more to do with the political campaign, and it would not help Kenosha in any way in the future.