Nearly a week after a Kenosha, Wisconsin police officer shot Jacob Blake in the back seven times, the 29-year-old's father says he and his family have not heard from President Donald Trump. Speaking to CNN's Alisyn Camerota on New Day this week, when asked if the president had attempted to reach out to him, Jacob Blake Sr. said, "that's a negative." A White House official told CNN that efforts have been made to connect Trump with the Blake family, though it remains unclear if any progress will be made.
At this time, the president has not commented directly on the shooting, though he and others have used their social media platforms as well as the recent Republican National Convention to speak out about the protests Blake's shooting, as well as the shootings of other Black men, have caused, mostly condemning them for instances of violence.
Blake remains in the intensive care unit of a Milwaukee hospital following the shooting, which video footage showed occurred as he went to re-enter his vehicle. As he opened the driver's side door, an officer shot him seven times in the back. According to his lawyers, at least one of those bullets "severed his spinal cord and shattered some of his vertebrae," BBC reports. He has been left paralyzed from the waist down. He has also been left with holes in his stomach, an arm injury and damage to his kidney and liver. Most of his colon and small intestine had to be removed.
Although the White House has not reached out to Blake and his family, Blake's father confirmed that Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and running mate Kamala Harris have reached out to them and that they spoke on the phone "for an hour." He said the conversation they had felt like he was "speaking to my uncle and one of my sisters."
"They were so comforting that you almost forgot how the situation was really playing out. It was like I was speaking to my uncle and one of my sisters – literally, literally," he said. "Biden kept telling me his own issues with his family. That he identifies with what I'm going through. I didn't have to keep telling him. He knew. It felt like he knew. It felt like they knew what was going on. And they didn't act like they were in a hurry to go anywhere. They spent time with us. And the tears that came from (Jacob Blake's) mother in this talk with the Bidens, that was important."
According to CNN, Biden and Harris spoke with Blake's parents, sister and other members of the family. After the conversation, Biden took to Twitter to address the shooting and the conversation he had, revealing that he told Blake's family that "justice must and will be done." Harris, meanwhile, called Blake's shooting "tragic" and said it "represents the two systems of justice in America."