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Mother of black US man left paralyzed in police shooting calls for calm

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Aug 26, 2020 - 04:01 AM

KENOSHA — The mother of a black man shot repeatedly in the back by Wisconsin police called Tuesday for calm after two nights of violent protests, as her lawyer said it would take a “miracle” for her son to walk again.

“We really just need prayers,” Julia Jackson said of her son Jacob Blake, seen in a bystander video being shot up to seven times at point-blank range by a Kenosha Wisconsin police officer as he tried to get into his car on Sunday.

The most recent allegedly unjustified police shooting of an African American has sparked outrage, with protestors burning buildings and cars Sunday and Monday nights in the northern US city.

Jackson, though, urged peace ahead of a national protest against police brutality planned for Washington this weekend, where Blake’s shooting, the killing of George Floyd three months ago, and other deaths have mobilized the powerful Black Lives Matter movement.

“As I was riding through this city, I noticed a lot of damage,” Jackson said at a press conference.

“It doesn’t reflect my son or my family,” she said.

“If Jacob knew what was going on as far as that goes, the violence and destruction, he would be very unpleased.”

Lawyers for the family said one of the policeman’s bullets shattered Blake’s spine and others damaged his stomach, colon, liver and an arm.

“The medical diagnosis right now is that he is paralyzed,” said civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump.

“It is going to take a miracle for Jacob Blake Jr to ever walk again.”

‘Attempted murder’

UGC footage shows moments after police officers shot a black man in the back several times from close range as he got into a car on Sunday evening in the US city of Kenosha, Wisconsin

Blake’s father Jacob Sr. accused the police, who remain quiet about the incident that has outraged much of the country, of “senseless attempted murder.”

“They shot my son seven times, like he didn’t matter,” Blake said, struggling to hold back tears. “But my son matters. He’s a human being.”

Blake, 29, was shot Sunday by a white policeman while getting into a car that held his three children, after trying to break up a domestic dispute, according to Crump.

A bystander video shows a police officer shooting seven times at Blake while the officer tugged on his shirt as he tried to get into the car.

Officials say police had been called to a domestic disturbance, but have not said why the two officers had their guns pulled.

Crump, who represents the families of Floyd and other blacks unjustifiably shot and killed, demanded the two officers involved, currently suspended, be fired and charged.

“For black America, this is our reality,” he said.

“It might be another city and another state but it seems like the narrative is the same. An unarmed black person, killed unjustifiably. The police shoot first, and figure out how to justify it later.”

He pointed to another shooting last week.

Police in Lafayette, Louisiana are being accused of excessive force after firing nearly a dozen rounds into Trayford Pellerin, 31, who was carrying a knife and walking towards a convenience store on August 21.

Heartbreaking 

Expecting another night of demonstrations, on Tuesday Kenosha authorities installed a temporary iron fence in front of the county courthouse, scene of confrontations between police and protesters the last two nights.

Across from Civic Center Park, a small group used paint thinner, soap and water to scrub graffiti off the walls of Reuther Central High School .

One woman who gave her name only as Suzannne said it was sad to see the destruction in the area.

“I agree with Black Lives Matter but this is heartbreaking,” she said.

Meanwhile, Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers urged protestors to remain peaceful as he called up more national guard troops ahead of an expected third night of protests.

“We cannot allow the cycle of systemic racism and injustice to continue,” he said in a statement.

“We also cannot continue going down this path of damage and destruction.”

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