KENOSHA, Wis. — The family of Jacob Blake called Tuesday for peaceful protests, change and unity after video posted online showed the 29-year-old Black man being shot several times in the back by police.
Jacob Blake's father, who shares his son's name, called Sunday's shooting by Kenosha police a "senseless attempted murder."
"They shot my son seven times," the elder Blake said through tears. "Seven times. Like he didn't matter. But my son matters. He's a human being and he matters."
The younger Blake's mother, Julia Jackson, said Tuesday that her son was "fighting for his life" and asked for prayers.
"We need healing," she said. "As I pray for my son's healing -- physically, emotionally and spiritually -- I also have been praying, even before this, for the healing of our country."
She urged protesters to remain peaceful, saying that her son "would be very unpleased" by the damage left by days of demonstrations sparked by Sunday's shooting.
"As I was riding through here, through this city, I noticed a lot of damage. It doesn't reflect my son or my family," Jackson said. "So, I really (am) asking and encouraging everyone in Wisconsin and abroad to take a moment and examine your hearts. Citizens, police officers, firemen, clergy, politicians -- do Jacob justice on this level and examine your hearts."
Protesters have clashed with police in the days since the younger Blake was shot by officers responding to a reported domestic incident in Kenosha. Witnesses told WISN-TV that officers were called after two women began fighting at a home. Family members told WLS-TV that the shooting happened after Blake broke up the fight.
Video recorded by a neighbor and posted online shows officers following Blake with their weapons drawn as he walks around an SUV and opens its front door. An officer can be seen tugging on Blake's shirt before shooting him several times in the back at point-blank range.
Three of his five children, including one who was celebrating his eighth birthday, a 5-year-old and a 3-year-old, witnessed the shooting, according to family attorney Benjamin Crump.
The shooting has left Blake paralyzed from the waist down. It was not immediately clear whether the injury would be permanent, though Crump said Tuesday that it would take a miracle for Blake to walk again.
Authorities, including officials with the Justice Department and the FBI, are investigating the shooting. Three officers involved in the shooting have been placed on administrative leave as the investigation continues, WJDR reported.
Cox Media Group