The family of police shooting victim Jacob Blake is keeping the discussion about the 29-year-old’s shooting as well as what is happening around the country with regards to systemic racism in policing alive. Jacob Blake Sr., along with other family members, led a march for racial justice Sunday afternoon in Charlotte, N.C., where Blake Sr. lives.
WBTV 3 reports that Blake Sr. focused on the aggressive handling of Black citizens by police as he spoke during the demonstration saying that changing that behavior in police officers is “the only way we can push the door down.”
“We’re not asking anymore. We’re demanding equal justice...equal rights,” Blake Sr. said.
Blake’s family, joined by many others, started at Romare Bearden Park and marched to the “Black Lives Matter” mural painted on South Tryon Street.
The chants started with family members shouting “Say His Name,” and others responded with “Jacob Blake.”
As the march continued, participants chanted “Black Lives Matter.”
“(Police) tried to throw my brother away like he was a piece of trash, like he was a rag, not like he has six sons that need him, six sons that need his guidance,” Blake’s sister, Letetra Wideman, said.
Blake Sr. spoke with WBTV reporter Dedrick Russell Friday about the march he organized and he was understandably emotional when he talked about visiting his son—who, at one point, was handcuffed to the hospital bed after the shooting left him paralyzed from the waist down—in Kenosha.
“I kissed him on his forehead and he grabbed my hand and he just began to weep,” he said. “At that time now, rage was in my wheelhouse, because this guy laying here is paralyzed from the waist down—what was that shackle—what was the purpose of that shackle on a paralyzed leg?”
The demonstration also focused on other victims of police violence like Keith Lamont Scott, a Black man who was fatally shot by Charlotte police on September 20, 2016. Sunday’s march was held on the fourth anniversary of Scott’s death.
“We don’t have an opportunity to talk with George Floyd. We don’t have an opportunity to have a conversation with Keith Lamont Scott,” one protester told WBTV. “But we do have an opportunity to build and think through...with the actual victim of this type of police brutality.”
Blake Sr. also spoke about the police brutality victims who weren’t as fortunate as his son was to live to tell their stories.
“This is not just a journey for one person,” he said. “This is a journey for Brown people, people who are more likely to be harmed by justice and injustice.”