Jacob Blake: Kamala Harris says Kenosha police shooter ‘should be charged’ based on the evidence

'I think that there should be a thorough investigation and, based on what I've seen, it seems that the officer should be charged,' Ms Harris says

Danielle Zoellner
New York
@dani__zoellner
Friday 28 August 2020 19:59
comments
Kamala Harris says officers involved in police shooting of Jacob Blake should be charged

During her first one-on-one appearance since joining Joe Biden's ticket Democratic ticket for president, Kamala Harris has addressed the police shooting of Jacob Blake, stating officers "should be charged" based on the evidence.

The former attorney general was asked by NBC Today's Craig Melvin on Friday what scenario would justify an officer firing his weapon.

"I don't see it. But I don't have all the evidence," Ms Harris said.

"The man was going to his car. He didn't appear to be armed. If he was not armed, the use of force that was seven bullets coming out of a gun at close range in the back of the man, I don't see how anybody could reason that that was justifiable," she added.

Mr Melvin then asked the vice presidential candidate whether officers should be charged for shooting Mr Blake seven times in the back, leaving the man currently paralysed from the waist down.

"I think that there should be a thorough investigation and, based on what I've seen, it seems that the officer should be charged," Ms Harris said.

"Everyone should be afforded due process," she added. "That is absolutely one of the important tenets of our system of justice. But here's the thing. In America, we know these cases keep happening. And we have had too many Black men in America who have been the subject of this kind of conduct."

The Wisconsin Department of Justice Division of Criminal Investigations is currently investigating the police shooting that happened in Kenosha on Sunday. The two officers involved are reportedly cooperating with the investigation and neither has been taken into police custody.

Mr Blake, who remains in the hospital recovering from his multiple gunshot wounds, is reportedly handcuffed to the bed, his father, also named Jacob Blake, said when speaking to CNN.

"My son is fighting for his life," the father said. "He is holding on ... that's a little overkill to have him shackled to the bed."

The family has not been informed by police as to why Mr Blake is handcuffed to the bed, despite him being paralysed.

Ms Harris said she believes there is still progress to be made on "the condition of black men in America", something the Biden-Harris ticket plans to address.

"We have talked about it in regards to policing in the criminal justice system, but let's talk about the realities of the fact that every man, including every Black man, wants to be able to take care of his family and live with dignity and be respected," she said.

"The Biden-Harris plan is about investing in communities with a particular concern about those communities that have been long neglected to ensure that there will be economic opportunity."

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

View comments