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Jacob Blake paralyzed after police shooting, father says

August 25, 2020

Jacob Blake remains in intensive care after being shot multiple times by police in Wisconsin. His father told a local paper that doctors did not yet know whether his paralysis from the waist down would prove permanent.

Jacob Blake's name in spray paint in midtown Manhattan
Image: Reuters/M. Seger

The father of a 29-year-old Black man shot by police in Wisconsin over the weekend said on Tuesday that his son was paralyzed from the waist down.

A video posted on social media showed the apparently unarmed man, identified as Jacob Blake, being shot multiple times by police in Kenosha, Wisconsin on Sunday while getting into his car. Blake's partner, Lacquisha Booker, confirmed to local television that their three sons were in the vehicle during the incident.

The father, also named Jacob Blake, told the Chicago Sun-Times newspaper that he had gotten word on Sunday evening that his son was shot eight times by the officers. He saw the video of the confrontation 18 minutes thereafter.

"What justified all those shots?" Blake asked. "What justified doing that in front of my grandsons? What are we doing?"

The elder Blake said there were now "eight holes" in his son's body and that doctors treating him at a hospital in Milwaukee did not know if the paralysis was permanent. He was driving from Charlotte, North Carolina on the east coast to be with his son in the hospital, a roughly 13-hour journey without stops.

Intensive care

Ben Crump, a civil rights attorney representing Blake's family, told ABC News on Tuesday that the younger Blake remained in intensive care after undergoing multiple surgeries for his injuries.

The shooting is being investigated by the Wisconsin Justice Department, which did not release any details. The officers involved in the shooting had been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation.

The incident has ignited protests in Kenosha over the past two days. Officers fired tear gas on demonstrators who were defying a dusk-to-dawn curfew on Monday night. Protesters also marched in New York City against Blake's shooting.

Demonstrations against police brutality have spread across the United States following the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police in May. Other shootings, including one in Louisiana on Sunday, have only enhanced calls for police reform.

dv/msh (AP, Reuters)