Jacob Blake’s family leads peaceful rally for racial justice in uptown Charlotte

Jacob Blake’s family leads peaceful rally for racial justice in uptown Charlotte

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Nearly a month ago, Jacob Blake Jr. was shot in the back seven times in the back by police officers in Kenosha, Wisconsin.

That incident has caused an uproar across the country about police brutality.

Protests have been ignited about stopping racism and social injustice.

Blake’s father, Jacob Blake Sr., lives in our community, in Charlotte.

He, and other family members, led a march for social justice Sunday afternoon in uptown Charlotte in Jacob Blake’s honor.

Jacob Blake Sr. was at the rally wearing a shirt with a photo of his son. He said he wants to see a change in the way police officers handle Black people.

“That’s the only way we can push the door down,” Blake Sr. said. “We’re not asking anymore. We’re demanding equal justice...equal rights.”

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.

WBTV reporter Dedrick Russell spoke to Jacob Blake Sr. on Friday about the organized rally.

Blake Sr. said he drove the 800 miles to Kenosha to be with his hospital who was in the hospital.

“I kissed him on his forehead,” Blake, Sr. told Russell. “And he grabbed my hand and he just began to weep.”

Blake Sr. said his son was handcuffed to the hospital bed.

The father said Jacob Blake Jr. was paralyzed from the waist down and he may never walk again.

“At that time now, rage was in my wheelhouse,” Blake Sr. said. “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.”

Sunday’s peaceful rally also came on the fourth anniversary of the police shooting death of Keith Lamont Scott in Charlotte.

A moment of silence was held in honor of Keith Lamont Scott and for every other person who was killed by police.

The Blake family said all they want is a life where protests, marches, and conversations about racism, discrimination and injustice are no longer needed.

“This is not just a journey for one person," Blake Sr. said. "This is a journey for Brown people, people who are more likely to be harmed by justice and injustice,”

Blake, who is Black, was shot in the back by a white police officer on Aug. 23 after walking away from the officer and two others who were trying to arrest him.

The officer, Rusten Sheskey, opened fire after Blake opened his own SUV’s driver-side door and leaned into the vehicle. The shooting was captured on video and posted online, sparking several nights of protests and unrest in Kenosha, a city of about 100,000 between Milwaukee and Chicago.

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