The police shooting of Jacob Blake last month sparked the latest round of protests in Kenosha, Wisconsin, and across the nation.
While Blake has become a celebrated figure among many on the left — including U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) — in recent weeks, the individual he is accused of sexually assaulting prior to the encounter with police has received notably less attention.
“Inspirational and uplifting”
As WTMJ reported, Blake was accused of the assault in May as part of an alleged robbery that also left the female victim without her car keys and debit card.
In addition to sexual assault, he also faced charges related to domestic violence, criminal trespass, and disorderly conduct.
Nevertheless, a statement from Blake family attorney Ben Crump described Harris as inspired by Blake after the two had a lengthy phone conversation.
“Sen. Harris had an inspirational and uplifting one-hour visit with Jacob Blake, Jr. and his family today,” the lawyer wrote.
Crump went on to describe a “moving moment” during which Blake told Harris he was proud of her “and the senator told Jacob that she was also proud of him and how he is working through his pain.”
“Not going to give up”
Blake reportedly “assured her that he was not going to give up on life for the sake of his children,” the attorney continued.
The two reportedly “discussed the policy changes” Harris is seeking as part of the Biden campaign, Crump noted, and Harris “encouraged them to continue to use their voices even through their pain to help America make progress to end systemic racism.”
While Blake’s case has arguably shed additional light on a police system in need of reform, Harris’ apparent lack of concern for the severity of the charges against him has opened up the former prosecutor to criticism.
“PROUD of him?” tweeted former Fox News Channel anchor Megyn Kelly. “He’s accused of breaking into a sleeping woman’s house, sexually assaulting her, humiliating her & later returning to harass her. Then the cops she called for help say he resisted arrest, assaulted them & went for his knife. How about a word for his victim, Senator?”
Blake had a previous run-in with police in 2015, but was not convicted after an arrest on suspicion of brandishing a firearm at a bar. While Americans of all backgrounds are rooting for him to make a full recovery, it is important to keep everything in perspective.