Global Protests Continue as Jacob Blake Regains Consciousness

Updated August 28

Jacob Blake, a 29-year-old Black man who was shot in the back seven times by police in Wisconsin, has regained consciousness, according to reports. Jacob Blake Sr., recalled the moment he could finally have a conversation with his son.

“Why did they shoot me so many times?’ Blake asked. Blake Sr. replied, “Baby, they weren’t supposed to shoot you at all.” His account was detailed during an interview with CNN’s Alisyn Camerota on “New Day.”

Blake woke up reportedly paralyzed from the waist down and shackled to his hospital bed. Recent reports have indicated that the shackles have subsequently been removed. He had been shot at close range Sunday evening as he was entering his SUV. His attorney Ben Crump told news outlets that Blake’s 3-, 5- and 8-year-old sons were in the car and that Blake was returning from trying to break up a domestic dispute.

The officer who shot Blake has been identified as Rusten Sheskey after a video of the incident went viral. Protests sparked by the shooting have continued. An investigation into the Wednesday killing of two protesters and the injury of another in Wisconsin continues as well. Authorities have arrested and charged 17-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse with first-degree intentional homicide.

The two protesters were fatally shot and one survived with a gunshot wound to the arm during a standoff with a group of armed men at a gas station. The incident happened during the third night of protests since Blake was shot. Protesters have stayed out past the 8 p.m. curfew that was set and faced off with police outside of the Kenosha County Courthouse. Some tossed water bottles and set off fireworks Monday night. Police have responded with flash bangs, tear gas and rubber bullets, CNN affiliate WISN reports.

Starting Wednesday night, athletes have taken a stand for the Black Lives Matter movement and launched strikes to protest the killing of Blake. The strikes began with the NBA’s Milwaukee Bucks and spread across various sports including baseball and soccer. TNT’s “Inside the NBA” analyst Kenny Smith took off his mic and walked off stage in solidarity with the movement.

After the strikes were initiated, the NBA announced it would postpone Game 5 of three playoff series: the Bucks vs. Orlando Magic, Houston Rockets vs. Oklahoma City Thunder and Los Angeles Lakers vs. Portland Trail Blazers. On Thursday, three playoff games were also postponed but the league said it hoped to resume games tonight or Saturday.

“This is like all the Black parents talk about, that phone call you don’t want to get,” Justin Blake, Jacob Blake’s uncle, said in an interview with CNN earlier this week. “And we got it. So, you have to sort of be strong for each other. Let your faith lead the way. After talking to his mother and my brother, we are asking people in Kenosha and around this nation to protest, but protest nonviolently. We want justice. We’re going to get justice. We’re going to demand justice.”

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On Sunday evening, police responded to a domestic disturbance in Kenosha. In a police call, a dispatcher says Blake “isn’t supposed to be here” and that he took someone’s keys and refused to leave. Crump, who also represents George Floyd’s family, said Blake was leaving from breaking up a fight between two women. Raysean White, who filmed the now-viral video said two women were arguing when Blake arrived and told one of his sons to get into his car. He said Blake then walked into the home behind one of the women. White then said he saw police wrestling with Blake and deploying a Taser on him, but doesn’t know what began the confrontation.

Crump said the only solution to this issue is police reform. “If we don’t have the systematic reform that this moment in America is crying out for, then we are going to continue to see hashtag after hashtag, protest after protest, and cities burning all across America,” he told CNN.

The shooting comes as activists and community members protest systemic violence against Black people at the hands of police. The day before Blake’s shooting, Lafayette, Louisiana police shot and killed another Black man, 31-year-old Trayford Pellerin. Protestors mobilized in New York City, Washington D.C., and Minneapolis, and at least five people have been arrested.