Democratic vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris met Monday with the family of Jacob Blake, the Wisconsin man shot by police last month, to kick off her visit to the critical swing state.
Harris gathered with Blake’s father, two sisters and members of his legal team at a private airport in Milwaukee while Blake’s mother and attorney Ben Crump joined by phone. Blake also joined the conversation by phone.
Blake on Saturday spoke publicly for the first time since a Kenosha, Wisconsin, police officer shot him seven times in the back, saying he’s in constant pain from the shooting, which doctors fear will leave him paralyzed from the waist down.
In a video posted Saturday night on Twitter by Crump, Blake said from his hospital bed that, “Twenty-four hours, every 24 hours it’s pain, nothing but pain. It hurts to breathe, it hurts to sleep, it hurts to move from side to side, it hurts to eat.”
Blake, a 29-year-old father of six, also said he has staples in his back and stomach.
“Your life, and not only just your life, your legs, something you need to move around and forward in life, can be taken from you like this,” Blake said, snapping his fingers.
He added: “Stick together, make some money, make everything easier for our people out there, man, because there’s so much time that’s been wasted.”
Blake, who is Black, was shot in the back by a white police officer on Aug. 23 after walking away from the officer and two others who were trying to arrest him. The officer, Rusten Sheskey, opened fire after Blake opened his own SUV’s driver-side door and leaned into the vehicle. The shooting was captured on video and posted online, sparking several nights of protests and unrest in Kenosha, a city of about 100,000 between Milwaukee and Chicago.