Jacob Blake, a father-of-six shot multiple times by officers in Kenosha County, Wisconsin, is one of countless Black Americans to face the excessive force of police. Regardless of race or location, you can help in the pursuit of justice.
The 29-year-old didn’t die as a result – he’s since undergone surgery and is said to be paralysed from the waist down, though it’s not yet clear if his injuries are permanent, according to his father.
However, as Democratic presidential hopeful Joe Biden noted in a statement, the shots have pierced ‘the soul of a nation’.
While only taking place on Sunday, August 23, the incident has sparked rampant protesting, the deployment of the Wisconsin National Guard and a swathe of petitions and fundraisers. Here’s how you can contribute to the fight.
Civil rights lawyer Ben Crump, the attorney representing George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Blake’s family, wrote in a statement, ‘We need our elected officials to finally recognise and take swift action against the systemic racism and police brutality that’s all too prevalent in Wisconsin and beyond.’
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Kenosha officers did NOT serve and protect Jacob Blake. They shot him MULTIPLE times in the back while his sons watched nearby. DEMAND action and change against police brutality and excessive use of force in Wisconsin and nationwide! Add your name to the #JusticeForJacobBlake petition: Link in bio.
He shared his own petition, titled ‘Jacob Blake Deserves Justice’ – by signing, you’re demanding the following:
1. As the video footage is clear and convincing, the Wisconsin Department of Justice’s Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) expedite its investigation, completing it in 30 days or less.
2. DCI recommends charges be filed against all officers involved in the shooting of Jacob Blake.
3. Kenosha Police Department terminates all officers involved immediately.
4. Kenosha City Council purchases body cameras for every officer immediately. The Council passed a 2017 ordinance requiring body cameras but hasn’t yet added them to the city budget (and aren’t currently planning to until 2022).
5. Wisconsin state lawmakers pass legislation against police brutality and systemic racism.
You can also sign a Change.org petition, titled ‘Charge the cops who shot Jacob Blake’ – at the time of writing, it’s already racked up more than 322,000 signatures.
The footage, shared widely online by a number of high-profile celebrities such as LeBron James, shows Blake as he walks around his car. When he opens the door, an officer grabs his shirt and shoots him seven times while three of his children watch.
While Pete Deates, head of Kenosha’s police union, urged that the video of the shooting ‘does not capture all the intricacies of a highly dynamic incident’, the petition calls for the ‘cops who shot him… to be charged with at least attempted murder’.
Yesterday, August 24, State Attorney General Josh Kaul told reporters: ‘We are going to vigorously and fully investigate the facts of this case. Our pursuit of justice is going to be unwavering.’
Color of Change has also released a petition, which explains: ‘We’re demanding the immediate firing and arrest of the officer who attempted to murder’ Blake. You can sign it here.
Podcast host @ankita_71 also shared a comprehensive list of the local Kenosha officials you can contact to demand justice for Blake, whether it be via phone, email or even a text.
You can also donate directly to Blake’s family via GoFundMe, with all money going towards ‘medical bills, family expenses, legal representation, support for his children and therapy costs’. At the time of writing, it’s amassed more than $660,000.
As protesters’ demonstrations continue in Kenosha, you can also donate to the Milwaukee Freedom Fund, which is assisting activists with bail funds. You can also split a donation between more than 70 community bail funds, mutual aid funds, and racial justice organisers as the US fights inequality on a nationwide scale.
And finally, of course, you can donate to the wider Black Lives Matter movement, helping ‘fight to end state-sanctioned violence, liberate Black people, and end white supremacy forever’. To do so, click here.
If you’d like to access a full page of ‘ways to help’ with the Black Lives Matter movement, click here for petitions, donations and other key resources.
If you would like to see all of the above resources in a condensed list, check out our credits section below the article.
If you have been affected by any of the issues in this article and wish to speak to someone in confidence, contact Stop Hate UK by visiting their website www.stophateuk.org/talk
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