Kamala Harris meets with Jacob Blake’s family in Wisconsin
Senator Kamala Harris privately met with Jacob Blake’s family during a visit to Wisconsin on Monday. It was her first solo campaign trip since being nominated as Joe Biden’s running mate.
“They’re an incredible family,” Harris told reporters during a tour of an International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers training facility in Milwaukee. “And what they’ve endured, and they just do it with such dignity and grace. And you know, they’re carrying the weight of a lot of voices on their shoulders.”
The Democratic vice presidential nominee said that her message to Blake’s family was “to express concern for their well-being, and of course for their brother and their son’s well-being. And to let them know that they have support.”
Kamala Harris on her meeting with Jacob Blake’s family: “I mean they’re an incredible family and what they’ve endured and they do it with such divinity and grace and you know they’re carrying the weight of a lot of voices on their shoulders.” pic.twitter.com/O98W5XhICI
The Blake family’s attorney, Benjamin Crump, said in a statement that Blake joined the hourlong meeting with Harris over the phone.
Harris “spoke individually with each family member about how they were handling the trauma and urged them to take care of their physical and mental health,” Crump said.
Crump said there was a “moving moment” when Blake told Harris “that he was proud of her,” and Harris said “she was also proud of him and how he is working through his pain.”
Harris also spoke about plans she and Biden have to address bias and wrongdoing by police, Crump said. She encouraged the family “to use their voices even through their pain to help America make progress to end systemic racism,” Crump said.
Sen. @KamalaHarris met with the family of #JacobBlake today, who joined by phone from his hospital bed. The family’s legal team released the following statement about the one-hour visit. #JusticeForJacobBlake pic.twitter.com/TQ7io0Clhe
Blake, 29, was shot multiple times in the back by Kenosha police officer Rusten Sheskey during an arrest on August 23. He survived but was left paralyzed from the waist down.
Video of Blake’s shooting have sparked protests in Kenosha and nationwide, following a summer of other police violence incidents that set off a worldwide protest movement. All of the officers involved in the incident have been suspended, but none have been charged. The Justice Department is conducting a federal civil rights investigation into the shooting.
Biden, the Democratic nominee for president, met with Blake’s family when he traveled to Kenosha last week.
President Trump also visited Kenosha last week, but did not meet with Blake’s family. Mr. Trump said he turned down a meeting because the family wanted lawyers to be present. “I thought that was inappropriate, so I didn’t do that,” he told reporters at a White House briefing.
Mr. Trump instead met with law enforcement and local business owners whose establishments were damaged during the protests over Blake’s shooting. The president never mentioned Blake by name during the trip.
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