The latest on Kenosha police shooting of Jacob Blake

By Melissa Macaya, Meg Wagner and Fernando Alfonso III, CNN

Updated 2:25 p.m. ET, January 18, 2021
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8:58 p.m. ET, September 3, 2020

Wisconsin governor commends Biden for reaching out to the Kenosha community

From CNN’s Raja Razek

Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers told CNN that the time former Vice President Joe Biden spent in Kenosha was “night and day” when compared to President Trump’s visit. 

"From what I saw from Vice President Biden, he did a great job in reaching out," Evers said.

Later in the interview, Evers said the people he spoke with need healing. 

"I don't think candidate Trump coming to Kenosha and talking about the shooting of Jacob Blake as …choking on a three-foot putt compares to what happened here with Joe Biden and his ability to show empathy to understand the issues going forward. To me, it was night and day,” the governor said.


6:33 p.m. ET, September 3, 2020

Family attorneys say Jacob Blake and family discussed de-escalation in police work with Biden

From CNN's Rebekah Riess 

Attorney Patrick Salvi told CNN that Jacob Blake and his family discussed the need for de-escalation training in police work, as well as the need for increased use of body worn cameras for police officers during their meeting with Joe Biden today.

“I think what we heard from Vice President Biden is that he is very supportive of measures that allow police to better do their job and that will help improve the relationship between police and the African-American community. The sense that we got, and that I believe the family got, is this is about moving forward and using this moment to improve and to improve those relations,” Salvi said. 

Fellow Blake family attorney, B'Ivory LaMarr, said while Jacob Blake was able to join the meeting on the phone from his hospital bed, he is “still in a great degree of pain, he did describe that.”

4:52 p.m. ET, September 3, 2020

Jacob Blake's uncle says the family talked to Biden about social justice policies 

From CNN's Sara Sidner 


Jacob Blake's uncle Justin Blake told CNN Thursday that Blake’s family has spoken with former vice president Joe Biden about the desire for better policies regarding social justice in America.

Blake said they want police shootings involving African Americans to be dealt with at the federal level and “we want equities and inequities to be resolved within these African American communities nationwide.”

"What's going on here in Kenosha is merely a micro view of what's going on throughout the nation. And so we're trying to utilize Kenosha to rid them of the inequities that the African Americans face here,“ Blake said.  

At a community event in Kenosha, Wisconsin, Biden advocated for an examination of how prosecutors handle criminal convictions and discussed education disparities in poor communities. The Democratic presidential nominee also promised that if elected, he would establish a national policing commission out of the White House.

4:30 p.m. ET, September 3, 2020

Jacob Blake shared the pain he is enduring with Biden, Blake family attorney says 

From CNN's Raja Razek

Jacob Blake's family attorney Ben Crump released a statement on Thursday about former vice president Joe Biden and Jill Biden's visit with Jacob Blake's family. 

In the statement, Crump said the Bidens today "had a very engaging 90-minute in-person meeting with the Blake family, including Jacob's father, sisters and brother," 

"I joined the meeting by phone, as did Jacob's mother and Jacob himself from his hospital bed. The family was grateful for the meeting and was very impressed that the Bidens were so engaged and willing to really listen," read the statement. 

“They talked about changing the disparate treatment of minorities in police interactions, the impact of selecting Kamala Harris as a Black woman as his running mate, and Vice President Biden's plans for change," added the statement. "Mr. Blake Sr. talked about the need for systemic reform because the excessive use of force by police against minorities has been going on for far too long."

"Jacob Jr. shared about the pain he is enduring," and the former vice president "commiserated," according to the statement.  

4:53 p.m. ET, September 3, 2020

Biden says he would establish White House national commission on policing if elected

Former vice president Joe Biden promised that if elected president, he would start a national commission on policing out of the White House that would bring civil rights activists and police chiefs together.

"I'll bring everyone to the table," Biden said. "Including police chiefs, including civil rights activists, including NAACP, including the Latino community. We're going to sit down there, and we're going to work it out."

The Democratic presidential nominee said a significant portion of police officials are "decent people," but there are a lot of "bad folks" in every organization.


4:18 p.m. ET, September 3, 2020

Biden spoke with Jacob Blake and was struck by how he said "nothing was going to defeat him"

Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images
Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images

At a gathering of community leaders in Kenosha, Wisconsin, Joe Biden spoke about the impression left on him after speaking with Jacob Blake and his family today in Milwaukee.

"What I came away with was the overwhelming sense of resilience and optimism that they had about the kind of response they're getting," Biden said of his private meeting with the Blake family earlier in the day.

Biden said he specifically spoke with Blake who "talked about how nothing was going to defeat him, how whether he walked again or not, he was not going to give up," he said. Biden said both men spoke on the phone for about 15 minutes.

The Democratic nominee also noted that he spoke about faith with Blake, specifically quoting, "He will raise you up on eagle's wings, Bear you on the breath of dawn, Make you to shine like the sun, And hold you in the palm of His Hand." 


4:06 p.m. ET, September 3, 2020

Biden discusses America's legal and education system

Joe Biden addressed a crowd of business and community leaders in Kenosha this afternoon where he discussed trouble in America's legal system and ongoing racial issues.

Biden advocated for an examination of how prosecutors handle criminal convictions.

The former vice president also discussed education disparities in poor communities.

"There's so much we can do," Biden said. "We can do it by just eliminating the tax cut for the top one tenth of 1%."

Biden said he is optimistic that there is an opportunity for change in this country "if we seize it."

"We've reached an inflection point in American history. I honest to God believe we have an enormous opportunity now that the screen, the curtain has been pulled back on just what’s going on in the country, to do a lot of really positive things," Biden said.

Watch: Joe Biden discusses prison reform in Kenosha

3:36 p.m. ET, September 3, 2020

Here are the community leaders meeting with Joe Biden today in Kenosha

From CNN's Sarah Mucha

Carolyn Kaster/AP
Carolyn Kaster/AP

The Biden campaign provided a list of community members Joe Biden is speaking with at Grace Lutheran Church in Kenosha, Wisconsin, today.

The list includes members of the faith community, law enforcement officials, activists and small business owners, among others.

 Here's the list:

  • Tim Mahone, chair of Mahone Foundation
  • Jonathan Barker, reverend of Grace Lutheran Church
  • Rev. Monroe Mitchell III, senior pastor at Agape Love Christian Ministries
  • Anthony Kennedy, Kenosha Common Council president
  • Dena Feingold, rabbi at Beth Hillel Temple
  • Tim Thompkins, Kenosha resident and former Marine
  • Lori Hawkins, Kenosha County Democratic chair
  • Angela Cunningham, attorney with ADC Law Office
  • David Andrea, co-owner of Jack Andrea, a small business in Kenosha
  • Katherine Marks, CEO of the United Way of Kenosha County
  • Jeff Weidner, former president of Kenosha Local IAFF 414
  • Carlos Florez, pastor with St. Mark’s Church
  • John Morrissey, Kenosha city administrator and former police chief of the City of Kenosha
  • Aaron White, police officer
  • Barb DeBerge, owner of DeBerge Framing & Gallery
  • Tod Ohnstad, Wisconsin State representative and UAW member
  • Mary Ann Pevas, Dominican Sister of the Racine Dominicans
  • Jessie Metoyer, police lieutenant
  • Peter Barca, secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Revenue   
  • Porsche Bennett, organizer for Black Lives Activists Kenosha (BLAK) 
2:46 p.m. ET, September 3, 2020

What it looks like outside the Kenosha church the Bidens are visiting

From CNN's Sarah Mucha in Kenosha

Joe and Jill Biden have just arrived at Kenosha's Grace Lutheran Church and a group of Black Lives Matter protestors have gathered on the road in front of it shouting, “Shut it down!”  

The protesters are also alternating between shouting Jacob Blake’s name and “Black Lives Matter.” This is their second pass through the street. 

A pair of police cars from the Kenosha Police Department are following the protestors and using a megaphone to say things like, “This is an unlawful assembly. Please move out of the roadway. Exit the roadway.”