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The Voice of the Black Community


Wisconsin shooting victim Jacob Blake has ties to North Carolina
Grew up in Winston-Salem, moved to Evanston, Ill.
Published Thursday, August 27, 2020
by Cash Michaels | NC Black Publishers Association

The latest black victim of police brutality to make national headlines – just like George Floyd last May – has strong ties to North Carolina. 

Jacob Blake, 29, who was repeatedly shot by two Kenosha, Wisconsin police officers in the back as he tried to enter his SUV Sunday evening, grew up in Winston-Salem before moving to Evanston, Illinois to attend middle and high school, the Chicago Sun-Times reported. 

Three of his children were in the back seat when he was shot. 

In an interview with Blake’s father, also named Jacob Blake, the younger Blake was struck eight times by police bullets and is paralyzed from the waist down.  

According to witnesses, young Blake was trying to break up a fight when police arrived at the scene. A cellphone video shows Blake walking around from the sidewalk to the driver’s side of his car where some of his family was. 

Two police officers follow Blake around as well. When he opened the driver’s door, one of the officers who followed him grabbed his T-shirt to stop him, then both opened fire at close range. At least seven shots were heard on the video. 

As of Monday, Blake’s father told the Sun-Times that “…there are eight holes” in his son’s body, and doctors had not said whether the paralysis will be permanent. 

The older Blake was driving from Charlotte to the hospital in Kenosha to arrive on Tuesday to be with his son.  

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

Young Blake is the father of six children between the ages of six and 13. He had been living in Kenosha the last three years and has seven brothers and five sisters. 

Blake’s grandfather, the Rev. Jacob Blake Sr., was the pastor of Ebenzer African Methodist Episcopal Church and is credited with leading a fair housing march in Evanston in 1968. Jacob Blake Manor, a low-income housing project for senior citizens, is named after Rev. Blake. 

Wisconsin’s governor has denounced the shooting, but Kenosha authorities are investigating. Meanwhile, Kenosha has experienced several straight nights of violence and property damage. 



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