Biden to meet with family of Jacob Blake in Kenosha
Joe Biden will meet with the father of Jacob Blake, the Black man shot by police multiple times in Kenosha, Wis., late last month, when the former vice president travels to the city on Thursday.
Biden’s campaign announced the visit in a press release on Wednesday. A campaign spokesman later confirmed to The Hill that the Democratic nominee would meet with Jacob Blake Sr. during his trip.
The meeting comes after President Trump said he refused to meet with the Blake family during a trip earlier this week due to their request that a family attorney be present for the conversation.
“I spoke with the pastor, wonderful man, the family’s pastor. I thought it would be better not to do anything where there are lawyers involved,” Trump told reporters on Monday ahead of his visit.
“They wanted me to speak, but they wanted to have lawyers involved, and I thought that was inappropriate, so I didn’t do that,” the president said. “I may at some point do that, but they did have a lawyer that wanted to be on the phone, and I said, ‘No, that’s inappropriate,’ but I just gave my best regards.”
The president visited Kenosha on Tuesday and made remarks praising law enforcement following the younger Blake’s shooting, which had sparked days of demonstrations that devolved into violence.
Many activists have called for the officer who shot Blake to be criminally charged, a demand that Biden echoed during a press conference on Wednesday.
“I think we should let the judicial system work its way,” Biden told reporters in Delaware while adding that he thought “at a minimum” the officer in the case should “be charged.”
Authorities have said that two officers initially deployed Tasers on Blake while attempting to arrest him after responding to a call about a domestic dispute. One officer later fired seven rounds at Blake, seriously wounding him.
Blake remains in the hospital and is at least temporarily paralyzed from the waist down, according to his family. Kenosha has been wracked by unrest following the incident while an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the shooting is ongoing.
In addition to meeting Blake’s family, Biden plans to “hold a community meeting in Kenosha to bring together Americans to heal and address the challenges we face,” according to a campaign press release. Further details were not available.
Cities around the country have seen months of demonstrations over the treatment of Black Americans by members of law enforcement, which first gained steam in late May following the death of George Floyd during an encounter with Minneapolis police.