The Democratic presidential nominee shared his reaction in a video shortly after he met with Blake’s family members, who are reeling from the news that the shooting left Blake paralyzed from the waist down.
“What I saw on that video makes me sick,” Biden said. “Once again, a Black man, Jacob Blake, has been shot by the police in broad daylight with the whole world watching. And I spoke to Jacob’s mom and dad, sister and other members of the family just a little bit earlier, and I told them justice must and will be done.”
Bystander-captured footage of the incident shows two police officers pointing their guns at Blake as he walks away from them and toward the driver’s side of a parked SUV. As he opens the car door and leans inside, one of the officers grabs the back of Blake’s shirt before at least seven gunshots ring out. It remains unclear whether both officers fired shots.
The officers involved have been placed on administrative leave while the Wisconsin Department of Justice investigates what happened.
“Put yourself in the shoes of every Black father and Black mother in this country,” Biden said in his message. “Is this what we want America to be?”
Blake’s family members and attorney said it will “take a miracle” for him to ever walk again.
“They shot my son seven times, seven times, like he didn’t matter,” Blake’s father, who is also named Jacob Blake, told reporters this week. “But my son matters. He’s a human being and he matters.”
In his message, Biden also called for protests in response to the shooting to remain peaceful.
“Violence that endangers lives, violence that guts businesses and shutters businesses that serve the community ― that’s wrong,” he said, noting that Blake’s mother has called for the same.
Biden says he’s not on board with proposals to “defund the police completely” and has instead pitched investing in community policing initiatives, deploying unarmed officers to respond to certain incidents and creating a national standard on police use of force.
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