More than a week after Jacob Blake was shot, his family said his life is no longer in danger — but still so few of their questions have been answered.
“He’s slowly but surely able to talk a little better, able to stay up a little longer, hold the hand of his father,” Justin Black, his uncle, told CNN’s John Berman on Tuesday. But even when Blake does talk, he added, he can’t seem to get past questions around the incident that put him in the hospital.
President Trump visited Kenosha, Wisconsin, on Tuesday but he did not meet with the Blake family and members said they don’t feel enough has been done. They are calling for the conviction of the police officer involved in the shooting of Blake.
“If we’re not talking about laws of reform — immediately reforming some of these police — then really I don’t want to speak to you at all,” Blake’s father, Jacob Blake, Sr., told CNN’s Don Lemon Tuesday. “But if you’re talking about some reform, you can sit down with me. We can have some coffee or tea.”
Blake’s family said he posed no threat to officers, and they don’t think there will be justice until there is a conviction of the officer, who was placed on administrative leave.
“The Blake family is pushing for an indictment of the officer that took liberties to shoot our nephew unarmed seven times in the back. That looks like justice to get an indictment, but not to us,” Justin Blake said. “We want him to be convicted. We want him to go to jail.”
His uncle said Blake asked the other night why officers shot him so many times.
The Kenosha Professional Police Association alleges Blake fought with officers trying to arrest him, put one officer in a headlock and carried a knife he refused to drop when ordered to do so.
Raysean White, who recorded video of Blake being shot, has said he didn’t see Blake holding a knife or harming officers, but he saw only part of the incident.
An attorney for the family, Patrick Salvi Jr., took issue with Trump’s description of the officers as golfers who choke and miss a put and the incident as a “kill or be killed” situation.
The officers had minutes, not seconds, to make decisions, he said. And video shows the officers were not in danger from Blake.
“At no point in time was Jacob’s momentum towards the officers. And what you see is that the officer is pulling on his shirt and then fires those seven bullets into Jacob’s back. If he was concerned that Jacob had a knife, why wouldn’t he back away?”
Blake appears to have told officers that he had a knife in his possession, the Wisconsin Department of Justice Division of Criminal Investigation has said. Investigators later “recovered a knife from the driver’s side floorboard” of Blake’s vehicle and no other weapons were found, the agency said.
Two videos have been released showing the encounter between Blake and police, but another attorney for the family, Ben Crump, said another video will clear up misconceptions and show that Blake was trying to get away from officers.