Jacob Blake, rare survivor at centre of police protests, starts telling his own story

KENOSHA, WIS.—Demonstrations against police violence have been filled with the chants of victims’ names: George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tamir Rice, Eric Garner. In recent days, a new name — Jacob Blake — has been called out in protests across the country.

In that list, though, Blake, a Black man who was repeatedly shot in the back by a white police officer in Kenosha, is also set apart. Unlike so many of the people who have become grim symbols for a movement, Blake survived and has begun to tell his own story.

“Your life — and not only just your life, your legs, something that you need to move around and move forward in life — could be taken from you like this, man,” Blake says from his hospital bed, snapping his fingers for emphasis, in a video released over the weekend. In the video, he speaks publicly for the first time about what happened to him. His injuries are severe, and his family says he was paralyzed from the waist down in the shooting last month.

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