Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden traveled to Wisconsin Thursday following the police shooting of Jacob Blake. During his visit, Biden met with members of Blake's family in Milwaukee and spoke with Blake, who remains in the hospital after being paralyzed from the waist down, in a conversation that the family's attorney, Ben Crump, said was "very engaging."
According to Crump, the conversation lasted approximately 90 minutes, during which Biden and his wife, Jill Biden, spoke in-person with Blake's father, sisters, and brother. Both Blake and his mother, as well as Crump, joined the conversation via the phone. During the conversation, 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." Crump, in a statement, said that Blake's father also discussed the urgent need for "systemic reform," citing the "excessive use of force by police against minorities" that has been ongoing long before his son's shooting.
"Jacob Jr. shared about the pain he is enduring, and the vice president commiserated," Crump added. "The vice president told the family that he believes the best of America is in all of us and that we need to value all our differences as we come together in America's great melting pot."
Crump said that the family felt Biden and his wife were "engaged and willing to really listen." He noted that it was also "very obvious that Vice President Biden cared, as he extended to Jacob Jr. a sense of humanity, treating him as a person worthy of consideration and prayer."
Biden's visit followed President Donald Trump's just a week prior, during which he did not meet with members of Blake's family. Before the visit, Trump had said that it was "inappropriate" for the family to request having their attorney present during the conversation. Trump instead announced that his visit would be to "thank Law Enforcement and the National Guard for a job well done."
Following his visit with the Blake family, Biden headed to Kenosha, the city where the shooting occurred and where daily protests have taken place ever since. There, he surveyed the damage and also attended a church meeting with local civic and clergy leaders, activists, business owners, police officials, and first responders. Speaking from Kenosha, according to NBC News, Biden reflected on his conversation with Blake, stating that "what I came away with was the overwhelming sense of resilience and optimism." He also vowed that if elected president, he will address the impact of the "original sin of the country," slavery.