CHARLOTTE — Members of Jacob Blake’s family attended a rally in Charlotte on Sunday, calling for an end to a “vicious cycle of hate” nearly a month after Blake was shot by a police officer in Kenosha, Wisconsin while resisting arrest.
Those comments came from Blake’s sister, Letetra Widman, as she spoke in front of a crowd of more than 150 people at a park in the city, The News & Observer reported.
“I’m tired of this vicious cycle of hate,” Widman said. “I’ve been black for 31 years and I still can’t figure out why that makes people mad.”
Her brother has been paralyzed from the waist down due to the shooting, which was captured on video and posted online, sparking several nights of protests and riots in Kenosha since Aug. 23.
“If some of us do not count, none of us counts,” Jacob Blake Sr., a Charlotte resident, told the crowd on Sunday. “I refuse to accept the fact that in 2020 I have to prove my son is a human being.”
Two other black men who died in Charlotte four years ago, Keith Lamont Scott and Justin Carr, were also remembered during the rally. Scott was fatally shot by a police officer and Carr was killed during a protest following Scott’s death.
The crowd then marched to a Black Lives Matter mural in the city.
Mike DeVaul, a YMCA executive in Charlotte who grew up with Blake Sr., says Jacob Blake Jr.’s life is still a cause for celebration. “We should celebrate the fact that he is living,” the newspaper quotes DeVaul as saying. “not dead as so many others are.”
The Wisconsin Department of Justice said Blake was reaching for a knife after resisting arrest before the shooting and was reaching for a knife.
According to NBC News, Blake completed a court appearance in September, pleading not guilty to several charges against him, including one for sexual assault.
Prosecutors found there was enough evidence to send the matter to trial. Jury selection was set for Nov. 9.