'There were seven bullets put in my son's back': Jacob Blake's family speaks at Kenosha rally
KENOSHA, Wis. (CBS 58) -- Nearly one week after Jacob Blake was shot, people packed the city of Kenosha to join demand police accountability.
Jacob Blake’s family and hundreds if not thousands of supporters from across the state participated in a march and rally on Saturday, Aug. 29, demanding "Justice for Jacob."
From the moment they hit the streets, protesters made it clear that they are part of a non-violent movement. They first gathered at Regimen Barber Collective on Saturday afternoon and then marched to the Kenosha County Courthouse for a rally featuring several speakers including members of Jacob Blake's family and state leaders.
Blake's sister had a message for law enforcement.
"I wanted to send a special thank you to the Kenosha Police Department for showing their true colors," said Blake's sister Letetra Widman.
Blake, a Black man, was shot seven times by a Kenosha police officer on Sunday, Aug. 23.
"There were seven bullets put in my son's back. I'm standing here with my sisters and my brothers. Hell yeah, I'm mad," said Blake's father, Jacob Blake Sr. at the rally.
"Seven bullets later, we recognize that Dr. (Martin Luther) King's dream is just a dream: a dream unfulfilled, a reality unrealized," Tim Mahone of the Mahone Foundation in Kenosha.
The crowd in front of the courthouse also heard from Congresswoman Gwen Moore and Wisconsin Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes.
"I am following the lead and the spiritual inspiration of (Blake's mother) Julia Jackson today because I am mad as hell," Moore said.
"We made it through some of the toughest times in human history and we are still here today, but unfortunately we still deal with some of the same challenges that are people are dealing with decades ago," Barnes said.
The focus of the rally shifted not just around justice for Blake and his family but also to the future and the need for activism at the ballot box and in the state legislature. Multiple speakers talked about the importance of voting.
Gov. Tony Evers called a special session of the GOP-controlled state Legislature set for Monday during which he wants them to take up a group of Democratic bills related to police reform.
At the rally, Barnes and other speakers touted the bills and encouraged the crowd to contact their state legislators and urge them to support the package of legislation.