‘My son is fighting for his life,’ Jacob Blake’s father says.
Jacob Blake, the Black resident of Kenosha, Wis., who was shot by a white police officer, is shackled to his hospital bed, his father said on Friday morning, adding that his son remains paralyzed from the waist down.
In an interview with CNN, Jacob Blake Sr. said that he had been able to speak with his son at the hospital on Wednesday, but that conversation was limited because his son was heavily medicated and in intense pain. “My son is fighting for his life,” he said.
It was unclear why Mr. Blake would be confined to his hospital bed with an ankle shackle. The authorities have said that the police were arresting Mr. Blake on Sunday afternoon when an officer shot him seven times, but they have not said what charges he was facing or offered other details of the shooting. The shooting set off demonstrations in Kenosha and in cities across the country.
“When I got to his side, he grabbed my hands and began to weep,” the elder Mr. Blake said of his son. He said his son asked, “‘Why did they shoot me so many times?’ And I said, ‘Baby, they weren’t supposed to shoot you at all.’”
Three of Mr. Blake’s children — ranging from 3 to 8 years old — were in the back of the car that Mr. Blake was climbing into as he was shot. “In his mind’s eye, he just wanted to get his sons out of harm’s way, but before he could get them out of the car he was just counting shots,” Mr. Blake’s father said his son had told him. “He said he was counting them. I guess he lost consciousness around number four or five.”
He said he did not know why his son had been shackled to the bed. “Why do they have that cold steel on my son’s ankle?” he said. “He couldn’t get up if he wanted to. So that’s a little overkill to have him shackled to the bed.”
A lawyer for the family, Ben Crump, said that Mr. Blake’s injuries are severe, including damage to his bowels, shattered vertebrae and bullet fragments in his spinal cord. He has undergone several surgeries, Mr. Blake’s father said, and it was unclear whether the paralysis would be permanent.
A 17-year-old accused in the killing of two people at the Kenosha protests will remain in custody in Illinois.
Kyle Rittenhouse, a white teenager who took to the streets of Kenosha, Wis., armed with a military-style rifle this week and is accused of killing two people in a shooting that took place amid a skirmish between demonstrators and counterprotesters, is being held for the time being in Lake County, Ill.
Mr. Rittenhouse, 17, was arrested at his home in Antioch, Ill. this week. He faces six criminal counts, including first-degree reckless homicide, first-degree intentional homicide and attempted first-degree intentional homicide.
A judge in Lake County held a brief hearing on Friday morning to address Mr. Rittenhouse’s extradition to Wisconsin. At the request of a lawyer for Mr. Rittenhouse, the judge agreed to delay the matter until late September.
Mr. Rittenhouse did not appear during the brief hearing, which took place by video because of the coronavirus pandemic.
He is accused in the deaths of Joseph Rosenbaum, 36, and Anthony Huber, 26, whose friends said were protesting against the shooting of Mr. Blake by the police in Kenosha on Sunday. He also faces a charge of reckless endangerment in the injury of a third man.
Mr. Rittenhouse, who had showed strong support for the police and President Trump on social media, had portrayed himself as a helper to injured people and defender of property when he arrived on the streets of Kenosha during demonstrations earlier this week.
But as demonstrators and counterprotesters clashed late Tuesday night, video footage showed Mr. Rittenhouse in the streets of Kenosha, as the situation turned violent. Several people chase him, some shouting, “That’s the shooter!”
Even after shots rang out, Mr. Rittenhouse appears to go unnoticed by police officers. In one video, he can be seen, weapon in full view, hands up, walking toward groups of officers — who drive around him as they respond to the confusing scene.
Fifty-seven years after the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. galvanized the civil rights movement by outlining a dream of racial equality from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, a new group of advocates for racial justice was returning to the same spot on Friday hoping to rekindle some of that passion.
This time, the speakers will address the crowd from an area marked off in grids occupied by small knots of attendees, to limit physical contact and the spread of disease during the coronavirus pandemic. The same will be true around the reflecting pool on the National Mall, where protesters will gather on what is expected to be a blistering-hot day.
By 9 a.m., the pavement around the Lincoln Memorial was packed with several hundred people. Lakresha Smith, 39, of Columbus, Ohio, was with a group of friends who said they drove six hours to be there.
Ms. Smith said the shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha had motivated her to take part in a protest for the first time this summer. “I’m here because I have an 18-year-old son, and he needs to know it’s not OK,” she said.
Dr. King’s March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom drew an audience of a quarter-million. The Friday protest, called the Commitment March: Get Your Knee Off Our Necks, is expected to attract a small fraction of that, in part because the city is requiring quarantines for visitors from 27 states. Attendees will be required to practice social distancing, wear masks and be screened for fever, and hand-sanitizing stations will be ubiquitous.
The organizers, led by the Rev. Al Sharpton and Dr. King’s oldest son, Martin Luther King III, say it would be a mistake to judge the event’s success by the size of its crowd.
The march “has to be understood as a moment for which these protests must lead to something,” ” said Marc Morial, the former New Orleans mayor who is president of the National Urban League, a sponsor of the march. “So it must lead to significant policy change. Structural racism is not addressed with talk or good will alone.”
While the protest will commemorate the 1963 march and Dr. King’s iconic “I Have a Dream” address, its larger purpose is to rally African-Americans and others on behalf of concrete goals. They range from increasing voter registration and participation in the 2020 census to enacting a new version of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, said Tylik McMillan, the national director of youth and college at the National Action Network, which Mr. Sharpton founded in 1991.
A major goal, he said, is to push for passage of the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, backed by House Democrats and the Congressional Black Caucus, which would overhaul law-enforcement training and conduct rules to limit police misconduct and racial bias.
President Trump made only a glancing reference to Kenosha, Wis., in his speech on Thursday accepting the Republican nomination for a second term, linking it to other American cities where protests against systemic racism and police brutality have sometimes turned violent.
Mr. Trump’s mention of Kenosha, the scene of several chaotic nights of demonstrations this week, and the other cities was shorthand for what he claims is a creeping lawlessness that will blanket the United States if his Democratic opponent, Joseph R. Biden Jr., is elected.
But, like Vice President Mike Pence, who hit the same theme on Wednesday, Mr. Trump did not say what touched off the unrest in Kenosha: the shooting of a Black man, Jacob Blake, by a white police officer in an episode that has drawn widespread condemnation and is being investigated by state authorities and the Justice Department.
“When there is police misconduct, the justice system must hold wrongdoers fully and completely accountable, and it will,” Mr. Trump said, without citing specific examples of such misconduct. “But we can never have a situation where things are going on as they are today, we must never allow mob rule. We can never allow mob rule. “
He continued: “In the strongest possible terms the Republican Party condemns the rioting, looting, arson and violence we have seen in Democrat-run cities all, like Kenosha, Minneapolis, Portland, Chicago and New York, many others, Democrat-run.”
Mr. Trump’s election four years ago was aided by his narrow victory in Wisconsin, and he won Kenosha County by fewer than 250 votes. Some local Democrats have said the violence that flared amid the Kenosha protests could lift his re-election prospects.
The New York Mets and Miami Marlins chose not to play their scheduled game on Thursday, joining 12 other Major League Baseball teams that sat out their games as part of a wave of sports protests over the police shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wis.
Before the decision was formalized, Brodie Van Wagenen, the Mets’ general manager, was captured on video delivering a searing critique of Commissioner Rob Manfred that he later retracted in a written apology.
“At the leadership level, he doesn’t get it,” Van Wagenen said of Manfred, in a video feed the Mets use for Zoom news conferences that appeared to have been accidentally broadcast online.
Van Wagenen’s comments came as he spoke with two unidentified people who were not visible in the video about a proposal for the Mets and Marlins to stage a walkout at the game’s scheduled start time and to then return to the filed and start play an hour later.
Van Wagenen said he thought it was Manfred’s plan, but it had actually come from his boss, Jeff Wilpon, the Mets’ chief operating officer.
Van Wagenen said Wilpon had called Manfred to tell him the players had voted not to play, and the two had discussed the difficulty of rescheduling the game, since the teams are not supposed to meet again this season. Wilpon proposed the delayed start, irritating Van Wagenen.
“The players had already made their decision so I felt the suggestion was not helpful,” Van Wagenen said in his subsequent statement. “My frustration with the commissioner was wrong and unfounded. I apologize to the commissioner for my disrespectful comments and poor judgment in inaccurately describing the contents of his private conversation with Jeff Wilpon.”
In the end, the Mets’ starters took the field at game time as the other players on both teams stood in foul territory for 42 seconds of silence in a nod to Jackie Robinson, who wore No. 42 and broke baseball’s color barrier in 1947.
The players then retreated to their clubhouses for the night, leaving a “Black Lives Matter” T-shirt draped across home plate.
Reporting was contributed by Alan Blinder, Michael Cooper, John Eligon, Jacey Fortin, Ruth Graham, Aishvarya Kavi, Tyler Kepner, Sarah Mervosh, Richard Perez-Peña, Ed Shanahan, Marc Stein, Neil Vigdor and Alan Yuhas.