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5 Ways To Keep Demanding Justice For Jacob Blake

An email to send, petition to sign, and hard convo to have.

Protestors hold up a sign saying "Justice for Jacob," a reference to Jacob Blake. Here's how to help Jacob Blake's family and protestors demanding justice for him.
Daniel Boczarski/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images
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Even if you follow the news as much as your mental health can handle, it can be hard to know what issues to focus on. This week, you might be solely focused on ways to create justice for Jacob Blake, who was shot seven times in the back by Kenosha, Wisconsin, police officers in August of last year. Following the shooting, the 29-year-old was paralyzed from the waist down, and multiple cities saw another wave of protests against police violence. On Tuesday, Jan. 5, Kenosha District Attorney Michael D. Graveley announced that his office would not bring charges against Rusten Sheskey, the officer who shot Blake, or the two other officers involved in the shooting, CNN reported.

"It is my decision now that no Kenosha law enforcement officer will be charged with any criminal offense based on the facts and laws," Graveley said, per CNN.

Chris Ott, executive director of the ACLU of Wisconsin, expressed disappointment over the decision in a statement. “This continues the cycle of enabling police violence and evading accountability when they seriously injure and harm a Black person,” he said. “This officer will continue with his career with the mistaken belief that he has done no wrong, while Jacob Blake will remain paralyzed and left to deal with the consequences of this officer’s actions. Today, justice was not served.”

Despite these events, you can still take action in support of Blake. Below, you can find a petition to sign, an email to write, a conversation to have, and places to donate or volunteer if you want to make a difference.

1

Email The Kenosha District Attorney

Though Graveley's office ultimately did not file charges against the officers involved in the shooting, you can send a message to DA Graveley to express your concerns about the decision. You could cite Blake’s attorney, Ben Crump, in saying that the decision “failed not only Jacob and his family, but the community that protested and demanded justice," as reported by CNN, or call for broader changes to the policing institution in Kenosha.

2

Sign This Petition For Jacob Blake

If you're looking for a pre-drafted call for an end to police violence, you can sign this Color of Change petition demanding justice for Jacob Blake. You can also text JAKE to 55156 or record a 30-second video about Justice for Jake so that Color of Change can use it on their social media accounts. Check out your action options, including the petition, here.

3

Talk To Your Uncle About How Focusing On "Looting" Is Beside The Point

It might be just a word, but talking about looting at Black Lives Matter demonstrations is far from harmless. As Black Lives Matter protests unfolded over the summer, many people choose to focus on destruction of property, rather than the destruction of lives that sparked the protests in the first place. NPR explains that words like looting and rioting have deeply racist histories: Laws written since the founding of the U.S. have protected private property from damage or theft in order to keep Black people enslaved, according to PBS. Since then, segregationists have used accusations of "looting" to paint largely peaceful protests as dangerous mobs, Vox explains. The same thing happens today.

It's worth bringing this up when your uncle tries to invalidate protestors for not being "peaceful" on your weekly family Zoom. You might ask why he would call it "rioting" when Black people are protesting police brutality, but "celebrating" when sports fans set fire to their cars because their team won a game. Ultimately, focusing on "looting" distracts from the real issue at hand — the anger over structural racism and police killings of Black people across the country.

4

Donate To The Justice For Jacob Blake GoFundMe

A GoFundMe organized by Jacob Blake’s mother, Julia Jackson, is raising money for the family. Just short of their $3,000,000 goal, the money will go towards medical care for Blake, grief counseling for the family, and support for Blake’s six children. The fundraiser page also offers an address where people can send cards or letters of encouragement in lieu of donations.

5

Learn About Anti-Racist Collectives & Organizations Near You

If you're not already familiar with your local organizations that actively commit to anti-racist initiatives, ask around and do some research. Your area might have a few excellent immigration advocacy organizations, or there might be some groups advocating against mass incarceration and police brutality. Find out who's been organizing Black Lives Matter protests in your town or city, and see what kind of advocacy your local LGBTQ center is doing. See how you can get involved with these local movements, whether they need protest medics, supplies, or administrative help you can offer at home.

Additional reporting by Leila Barghouty.

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