On Sunday, Aug. 23, 29-year-old Jacob Blake was shot in the back seven times by a Kenosha police officer as he tried to enter his car with his children inside, and he has since been hospitalized. Blake's family says he is paralyzed from the waist down due to the shooting, and while doctors don't know if it will be permanent, Blake faces a long recovery process. If you're looking for a way to show support, here's how to help Jacob Blake and his family as they deal with the tragedy.
Blake's mother, Julia Jackson, set up a GoFundMe campaign for her son on Monday, Aug. 24. In her description of the campaign, Jackson claims the shooting occurred after Blake tried to break up an altercation "between an unrelated party." The Wisconsin Department of Justice (DOJ) Division of Criminal Investigation is leading the investigation, and according to the Wisconsin's DOJ Aug. 26 report of the shooting, officers were called to the scene after a woman "reported that her boyfriend was present and was not supposed to be on the premises." It's unclear how or if Blake was involved in the reported incident. The Kenosha Police Department doesn't have officers wear body cameras, and the only video of the shooting came from a cell phone video recorded by Raysean White, according to CNN.
The graphic video was shared on Twitter by Blake family attorney Ben Crump on Sunday, Aug. 23, and it shows Blake interacting with police before walking around his car to enter it, which is when an officer identified as Rusten Sheskey fired his gun. "While holding onto Mr. Blake’s shirt, Officer Rusten Sheskey fired his service weapon 7 times," the Wisconsin DOJ's report states. Sheskey and the other officers involved were placed on administrative leave.
During a press conference on Tuesday, Aug. 25, Crump told reporters, "It’s going to take a miracle for Jacob Blake Jr. to ever walk again." Blake's father, Jacob Blake Sr., confirmed to the Chicago Sun Times that his son is currently paralyzed from the waist down, but it's unclear whether it will be a permanent condition.
As the investigation continues and Blake works toward a recovery, there are a few ways you can show your support:
1. Donate to the "Justice for Jacob" GoFundMe account.
In the description of the GoFundMe account started by Jackson, it explains the funds will go toward covering Blake's medical expenses, mental and grief counseling for their family, and legal costs as the family fights for justice. A portion of the $2 million goal will also go to help Blake's six children, including the three who witnessed the shooting. As of publication on Aug. 27, the account has over $1.7 million in donations.
2. Send words of support.
Jackson provided an address where supporters can send money, or letters and cards with messages of support. If you wish to help in this way, you can send your messages to:
Julia Y. Jackson c/o Ben Crump Law
PLLC 122 S. Calhoun Street
Tallahassee, FL 32301
Attn: Adner Marcelin
3. Sign the Change.org petition to charge the officers involved.
An organizer named Brooke Thompson based in Rockford, Illinois, started an official petition on Change.org to charge the officers involved. With a goal of 1 million signatures, the petition is directed at Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers and the Kenosha Police Department. As of publication on Aug. 27, over 782,000 people have signed.
If you're looking to do more to fight against police brutality, you can also donate to support anti-racism and the Black Lives Matter movement.