The father of Jacob Blake, the 29-year-old Black man shot by police in Kenosha, Wis., says his family has faced threats.
"It is saddening to me that people don't understand the type of pressure this family is under and what the rest of the family is dealing with," Jacob Blake Sr. told CNN on Tuesday.
Jacob Blake Sr. also said his other son was recently hospitalized because he suffered from depression.
The family organized a peaceful rally at the site of the Aug. 23 shooting, which left Jacob Blake partially paralyzed from the waist down after being shot several times at close range in the back.
The event included a community cleanup, food drive, healing circle and voter registration booth, according to CNN.
President TrumpDonald TrumpTrump takes shot at new GOP candidate in Ohio over Cleveland nickname GOP political operatives indicted over illegal campaign contribution from Russian national in 2016 On The Money — Dems dare GOP to vote for shutdown, default MORE visited the city on Tuesday despite pleas from state and local officials that he stay away.
He met with law enforcement and surveyed property destroyed during protests after the shooting. However, he said he did not meet with members of Blake’s family because they wanted to have “lawyers involved,” which he called “inappropriate.”
Jacob Blake Sr. told CNN that he isn’t going to “play politics” with Trump while his son is severely injured.
"This is my son's life we are talking about," the father said. "It is all about my son, man. It has nothing to do with a photo op. It has to do with Jacob's operation."
Other family members have also condemned Trump’s visit.
Jacob Blake’s uncle, Justin Blake, said the family doesn’t want “anything to do" with the president and accused Trump of inciting violence.
“How could they not be feeding on violence when the man in the White House is steady drumming it up? Did you not think it would not trickle down to the streets? It has,” Justin Blake said in an interview. “So, we have the opportunity to control the narrative as the Blake family, and we're gonna do that.”
Two people were killed and one person was wounded last week in a shooting in Kenosha during a protest over Jacob Blake’s shooting.
The teen identified by authorities as the suspect, Kyle Rittenhouse, was previously a member of a youth police cadet program, according to CNN. He also reportedly attended a Trump campaign rally earlier this year.
His attorneys claim that he was acting in self-defense while protecting local businesses.
Trump faced calls to condemn Rittenhouse, but the president on Monday defended the 17-year-old, saying he was "very violently attacked" by demonstrators.
"And it was something that we’re looking at right now, and it’s under investigation," Trump said. "But I guess he was in very big trouble. He probably would have been killed, but it’s under investigation."
Asked if he backs his supporters taking matters into their own hands with weapons, Trump said he'd "like to see law enforcement take care of everything."