The latest on Kenosha police shooting of Jacob Blake

By Melissa Macaya, Meg Wagner and Mike Hayes, CNN

Updated 8:44 p.m. ET, August 31, 2020
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6:37 p.m. ET, August 31, 2020

Biden's team weighing possible Wisconsin visit as soon as this week, source says

From CNN’s Arlette Saenz

Joe Biden’s advisers are discussing possibly having the the Democratic presidential nominee travel to Wisconsin as soon as this week, a source with knowledge of the discussions said, adding that the situation remains fluid.

During a stop in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, earlier today, Biden told reporters he hopes to travel to Wisconsin.

“I’m checking it out now. I hope to be able to do that,” Biden said.

A Biden campaign official would not comment on any possible plans under consideration.

Some context: President Trump is scheduled to travel to Kenosha, Wisconsin, on Tuesday to meet with law enforcement and survey some damage from recent protests.

On Sunday, Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers wrote a letter asking Trump to reconsider his visit as the city continues to grapple with the unrest stemming from the police shooting of Jacob Blake.

White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany said the President is not scheduled to meet with Blake’s family while in Kenosha. Trump did say at a news briefing Tuesday that he talked with the family's pastor.

Last week, Biden and Democratic vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris spoke with Blake’s family, including his father Jacob Blake Sr., who has described the conversation as “so comforting” and said “It was like I was speaking to my uncle and one of my sisters.”

8:38 p.m. ET, August 31, 2020

Trump says he won't meet with Blake family because they wanted to involve lawyers

From CNN's Maegan Vazquez, Elise Hammond and Raja Razek

President Donald Trump speaks at a news conference at the White House on August 31 in Washington, DC.
President Donald Trump speaks at a news conference at the White House on August 31 in Washington, DC. Andrew Harnik

At a news conference on Monday, President Trump said he’s not meeting with Jacob Blake’s family in Wisconsin because the family wanted to involve lawyers. 

Blake, a Black man, was shot seven times by police in Kenosha, sparking demonstrations. Trump is set to visit Kenosha tomorrow.

“Well I spoke to the pastor, wonderful man, the family’s pastor, and I thought it would be better not to do anything where there were lawyers involved. They wanted me to speak, they wanted to have lawyers involved and I thought that was inappropriate so I didn’t do that. But I did speak with the pastor of the family,” Trump said. 

The President said he and the pastor had “a great talk,” adding, “I may at some point do that, but they did have a lawyer that wanted to be on the phone and I said no. That’s inappropriate, but I did just give my best regards.” 

Jacob Blake's father appeared on the Situation Room following Trump's news conference and responded to Trump's claim about speaking to his pastor.

"We don't have a family pastor," Jacob Blake Sr., said, "I don't know who he talked to, I don't care who he talked to," he told CNN's Jim Acosta.

Acosta asked the family's attorney Ben Crump: "Mr. Blake didn't seem to have any idea who the President is talking about when he talks about this pastor, are you aware of the White House making any attempts to speak to the family, speak to you, speak to anybody associated with this family?"

Crump said, "Yes, Miss Julia Jackson, Jacob's mother, her pastor, pastor James, and attorney Salvi was trying to coordinate for the President to call while he was in communication with Miss Jackson and us, and she was ready to receive the phone call, but for some reason, the call never came. And we now understand why. I don't know why the President wouldn't want the family to have their lawyers on the phone. He seems to have lawyers with him when he talks to people." 

During his news conference, Trump also defended his decision to visit Kenosha when asked by reporters if he had concerns that his trip to the city could exacerbate tensions.

"It could also increase enthusiasm. And it could increase love and respect for our country. And that is why I'm going," Trump said.

Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers wrote a letter Sunday asking Trump to reconsider his visit as the city continues to grapple with the unrest stemming from the police shooting of Blake.

6:13 p.m. ET, August 31, 2020

Jacob Blake's uncle: Why would we want to talk to President Trump?

From CNN’s Sara Sidner and Maegan Vasquez

Jacob Blake’s uncle, Justin Blake, told CNN's Sara Sidner that “President Trump is a racist who stokes racial tensions. He has been stirring racial tensions since he got in the White House. Why, as Jacob’s uncle, would I want to talk to him? Our focus is on Jacob and healing the community."

He said Jacob Blake’s father has told him he “has no interest in speaking with President Trump.” His only interest at the moment is his son’s well-being and getting justice.

He said he did not talk to Jacob Blake’s mother on the subject.

The President is not currently scheduled to meet with the Blake family while visiting Kenosha, Wisconsin, tomorrow.

Asked by CNN's Kaitlan Collins whether the President plans to meet with the family, White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said, "Currently the plans are to meet with local law enforcement and some business owners, and he'll survey the damage. But there will be more detailed plans forthcoming when they're announced."

Following up, asked if there are currently no plans to meet with Blake's family, McEnany added, "Not currently."

Earlier today, McEnany also said the administration has not yet been able to connect with the family of Blake.

 “We are efforting outreach,” McEnany said of the Blake family during an appearance on Fox News, but, she said, they “have not been able to connect yet.”

7:17 p.m. ET, August 31, 2020

What we know about the shooting of Jacob Blake and the protests that have followed

People march to the Kenosha County Courthouse on August 29 in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
People march to the Kenosha County Courthouse on August 29 in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Scott Olson/Getty Images

It's been a little over a week since police in Kenosha, Wisconsin, shot Jacob Blake, a 29-year-old father.

The shooting has sparked protests in Wisconsin and across the country. Here's what you need to know about the case and its aftermath:

  • What happened: Kenosha officers were called to a domestic incident last Sunday, police said. Wisconsin state investigators said that when police arrived, they used a taser to try to stop Blake, before a single officer fired his weapon seven times and injured him. The officers rendered aid before Blake was flown to the Froedtert Hospital in Milwaukee, police said.
  • Blake's condition: Blake underwent surgery and his family says he is now paralyzed from the waist down.
  • An investigation: A probe into the shooting was quickly turned over to the Wisconsin Department of Justice and a federal civil rights investigation was launched. Officials identified Officer Rusten Sheskey as the person who shot Blake when he tried to enter his vehicle. The officer, who has been employed by Kenosha police for seven years, was placed on administrative leave.
  • A deadly shooting at the protest: Protesters have rallied in Kenosha nightly since the shooting. At Tuesday's protest, two people were killed and a third was seriously wounded in a shooting. Police have named 17-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse as a suspect in the shooting and he now faces homicide charges as well as a felony charge for attempted homicide.

5:29 p.m. ET, August 31, 2020

Biden says he "hopes to be able" to visit Wisconsin

From CNN's Chris Boyette

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden arrives at the Allegheny County Airport before speaking at a campaign event on August 31 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden arrives at the Allegheny County Airport before speaking at a campaign event on August 31 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Carolyn Kaster

Asked by a reporter in Pittsburgh if he was going to visit Wisconsin, Biden said: “I’m checking it out now. We hope to be able to do that.”

Biden ignored a follow up about whether he believed Trump should be visiting Kenosha as planned. 

The President is planning to travel to the city tomorrow after Democratic Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers wrote him a letter urging that he reconsider as Kenosha continues to grapple with racial unrest following the police shooting of Jacob Blake.

"The White House has been humbled by the outreach of individuals from Kenosha who have welcomed the President's visit and are longing for leadership to support local law enforcement and businesses that have been vandalized," White House deputy press secretary Judd Deere said in a statement Sunday night.

"President Trump looks forward to visiting on Tuesday and helping this great city heal and rebuild."

The statement came hours after Evers wrote a letter to Trump outlining his concern about what the President's presence "will mean for Kenosha and our state."

4:42 p.m. ET, August 31, 2020

Kenosha curfew will last for rest of the week, mayor says

From CNN's Konstantin Toropin

National Guard troops patrol a street  in Kenosha, Wisconsin on August 27.
National Guard troops patrol a street in Kenosha, Wisconsin on August 27. Brandon Bell/Getty Images

Kenosha Mayor John Antaramian said that the city's curfew will continue for the rest of the week.

"The curfew will be continued through Tuesday night and then on Wednesday, it'll be extended to 9 o'clock," Antaramian said. 

The curfew currently begins at 7:00 p.m. local time or 8:00 p.m. ET.

4:35 p.m. ET, August 31, 2020

Wisconsin officials call Trump visit ill-timed

From CNN's Konstantin Toropin

Kenosha Mayor John Antaramian speaks at a press conference on August 31. 
Kenosha Mayor John Antaramian speaks at a press conference on August 31.  CNN

Officials in Kenosha, Wisconsin, noted that President Trump's visit to the city is ill-timed and said the visit would utilize limited resources. 

Kenosha Mayor John Antaramian reiterated that he felt "the timing is wrong."

"You have a community that is in the process of trying to heal," the mayor added.

Jim Kreuser, the Kenosha County Executive, also echoed that sentiment.

"There's a lot of crisis going on in our community and there's limited resources," Kreuser said.

Kenosha County Sheriff David Beth noted that a visit by any major figure will create extra work for the department. 

Beth said that it wasn't his place to comment on the visit and instead simply noted, "I know that he is coming and that we will do our best to protect him."

Kreuser strongly pushed back on President Trump's tweeted assertion that “there would be no Kenosha” if he hadn’t insisted on activating the National Guard.

"Kenosha is going to be on the comeback and for someone to say we wouldn't exist but for their action, [...] because I know things too, I just have to tell you what I believe the answer is and that's false," Kreuser said.

Neither the County Executive nor the mayor said they were aware of the plans for Trump's visit or if they were meeting with him.

3:15 p.m. ET, August 31, 2020

Kenosha County Sheriff will get body cameras

From CNN’s Konstantin Toropin

Jim Kreuser, the Kenosha County Executive, announced that he is adding body cameras for law enforcement to the upcoming budget at a press conference this afternoon. 

“I've also heard the call for transparency and I can tell you that body cameras for the Kenosha County Sheriff's Department will be in the budget that I will present October 6 for implementation in 2021,” Kreuser said.

Remember: Jacob Blake was shot and critically injured last week by an officer with the Kenosha Police Department, not the Sheriff's Department.

Last week, Kenosha Mayor John Antaramian said the Kenosha Police Department does not have body cameras. 

4:32 p.m. ET, August 31, 2020

Trump weighs in on Biden speech: "he’s blaming the Police far more than he’s blaming the Rioters"

From CNN's Nikki Carvajal

President Donald Trump speaks with reporters aboard Air Force One on August 28.
President Donald Trump speaks with reporters aboard Air Force One on August 28. Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

President Trump said he watched Joe Biden’s speech Monday afternoon and accused the former vice president of “blaming the police” for protests and violence across the country.

“Just watched what Biden had to say,” Trump wrote on twitter. “To me, he’s blaming the Police far more than he’s blaming the Rioters, Anarchists, Agitators, and Looters, which he could never blame or he would lose the Radical Left Bernie supports!”

CNN’s Sarah Mucha reports the Democratic presidential nominee delivered a blistering condemnation of Trump in his remarks in Pittsburgh on Monday afternoon, calling him a "toxic presence" in our nation.

"Donald Trump has been a toxic presence in our nation for four years," Biden said. "Poisoning how we talk to one another. Poisoning how we treat one another. Poisoning the values this nation has always held dear. Poisoning to our democracy."

Taking the President and Republicans to task on the talking point that Americans will be unsafe in Biden’s America and painting him as a “radical leftist,” Biden once again pointed to the fact that Trump is currently the President.

He attempted to portray Trump as a leader who puts Americans' safety at risk. Monday’s speech stands in stark contrast to his Democratic National Convention remarks, where he did not mention the President by name once.