His family has a legacy of activism.
His grandfather, the Rev. Jacob Blake Sr., led the fight for fair housing in Evanston throughout the 1960s and ’70s and led the Ebenezer AME Church congregation. He organized marches following the assassination of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. that eventually led Evanston City Council members to ban racial discrimination in housing.
“We the members of Ebenezer AME, were quite distressed to hear the news about Jacob Blake,” the church that his grandfather pastored said in a statement after news of Blake’s shooting became public.
“It is also disturbing that this action was taken without regard for his children that witnessed this egregious and callous action.”
Video shows the shooting
On Sunday evening, Blake was on a Kenosha street lined with apartment buildings. He was “breaking up a fight between two women,” said Ben Crump, an attorney hired by the family.
Kenosha police arrived, responding to a domestic incident, police said.
Raysean White was across the street and said he heard two women arguing when Blake arrived. He said he doesn’t know what started the altercation.
White was filming the incident when Blake walked away, toward the driver’s side of his car, and opened the door. In video that’s now been seen millions of times — more than 9 million views from Crump’s Twitter feed alone — police are seen closely following Blake and shooting him seven times in the back as he leans into the car.
In the vehicle were his three sons, ages 3, 5 and 8, Crump said. CNN has not independently confirmed this.
Blake is now in a Milwaukee hospital, where he has remained in intensive care, Crump said. He is suffering from paralysis from the waist down, his father, Jacob Sr., told CNN, but he wasn’t sure if the condition is permanent.
“Thank God he’s alive,” Blake’s uncle, Justin Blake, told CNN. “We’re just praying for a great recovery, that he may have a great quality of life and that his father, my brother, can enjoy him.”