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Jacob Blake Is Paralyzed From Waist Down After Police Shooting, Family Attorney Says

Blake, a Black man, was shot in the back multiple times by Kenosha police while getting into a car. After graphic footage of the shooting was widely shared, protests have erupted for two consecutive nights in Wisconsin.

Jacob Blake | Laquisha Booker via Sarah Thamer, WISN
Jacob Blake | Laquisha Booker via Sarah Thamer, WISN

Jacob Blake’s family attorney said his client is paralyzed from the waist down after he was shot by police multiple times on Sunday in Kenosha, Wisconsin. 

"They shot my son 7 times. 7 times," Blake's father, Jacob Blake, Sr., said during a press conference on Tuesday. "Like he didn't matter. But my son matters."

The Chicago Sun-Times first reported the news of Blake's injury on Tuesday, which attorney Benjamin Crump confirmed during a press conference. Blake's father told The Sun-Times that doctors don’t yet know if his son’s injury will be permanent. The elder Blake said that he will drive from Charlotte, North Carolina to see his son in the Milwaukee hospital where he’s being treated. 

“I want to put my hand on my son’s cheek and kiss him on his forehead, and then I’ll be OK,” he said. “I’ll kiss him with my mask. The first thing I want to do is touch my son.”

Blake, a Black man, was shot in the back multiple times by Kenosha police officers while getting into a vehicle on Sunday. 

After graphic bystander footage of the incident was shared online, protests erupted for two consecutive nights around Wisconsin, even as authorities instated a citywide curfew in Kenosha. Gov. Tony Evers (D) on Monday called in the National Guard, which has been filmed setting off tear gas, rubber bullets, and flash bangs in the crowds. Footage from the city has shown significant property damage and some fires.

Civil rights attorney Ben Crump, who is representing Blake’s family along with families of George Floyd and Ahmaud Arbery, tweeted that three of Blake’s were in the car at the time he was shot. 

The officers who shot Blake were responding to a “domestic incident,” according to police.

The Kenosha News reported that “at least half a dozen witnesses” said Blake “had tried to break up a fight between two women” outside of a home on the block where officers were dispatched. CBS News reported that a 911 dispatcher said “a complainant said Blake wasn't supposed to be there, and that he had taken the complainant's keys and refused to give them back.” An officer reportedly used a stun gun on Blake before he was shot near his vehicle.

The elder Blake also told the Chicago Sun-Times that his son has been living in Kenosha for about three years, and that family is “definitely” important to the father of six.

“If you were in need of something and my son had it, he would not hesitate to give it to you,” he said. “He’s a very giving individual.”

Blake’s shooting is one of many recent police-related incidents that have sparked national outrage and protests, addressing systemic racism among law enforcement and demanding police accountability.

Protesters in other U.S. cities, including Los Angeles, New York City, and Minneapolis, have also taken to the streets in solidarity with Kenosha residents.

The Los Angeles Lakers’ LeBron James devoted time at his NBA presser on Monday to condemn the shooting.

"Quite frankly it's just fucked up in our community,” James said. “... People get tired of hearing me say it, but we are scared as a Black people in America. Black men, Black women, Black kids, we are terrified.”

This post has been updated to include more recent statements from Jacob Blake's father and the family attorney Benjamin Crump.