Jacob Blake’s father, who was shot seven times in the back by a Kenosha, Wisconsin, police officer in 2020, was temporarily hospitalized last week after attending a protest in Ohio and getting into an argument with local cops who were attempting to arrest him.
Jacob Blake Sr. was brought to the hospital on Wednesday, July 6, after officers attempted to arrest him and other demonstrators in downtown Akron during a protest over the death of Jayland Walker by Akron police last month. Blake and other activists from a group called Families United had traveled to Ohio from their home states — Blake is from North Carolina — to join protests sparked this week by the release of police bodycam video showing Walker being gunned down by a barrage of fire from eight Akron officers at the end of a car chase.
According to NBC, Justin Blake, Blake Sr.’s brother, says Blake Sr. and other Families United members were sitting in a van when they witnessed a man being attacked and kicked by police at the Walker protest. According to Justin Blake, the group attended the site to protest the man’s treatment, which resulted in Blake Sr.’s run-in with the cops and the commencement of an apparent seizure.
He was brought to the hospital and admitted as a patient. He’s been released since then, and by the weekend, he was speaking out about the experience and his message of police responsibility at an Akron event.
“They beat me into a seizure,” Blake Sr. said to the assembled throng on Saturday, according to a video uploaded on Twitter. “I’m not sure what happened next. “When I awoke the next morning, I was more motivated than ever,” Blake added.
While he was not imprisoned, the Akron Police Department issued a warrant for his arrest. According to court documents, Blake Sr., a man who has been activated since his son was wounded two years ago, is charged with four charges of rioting, resisting arrest, failing to disperse, and disorderly conduct.
Blake Sr.’s son Jacob Blake Jr. was shot seven times by Kenosha Police Officer Rusten Sheskey on August 23, 2020, while cops struggled to apprehend Blake, paralyzing him. After video of the incident went online, it generated days of protests and civic disturbance, just like so many other police-involved shootings that year.
Blake Sr.’s brother told Madison.com that the claims were absurd. “Before they were attacked, they were there to bring the community and family together and to seek justice.”
“He was not resisting arrest,” he added. “He was taking a break by leaning against the fence.” He has a disability.”
Bianca Austin, Breonna Taylor’s aunt, shot a video of the ordeal that drew the attention of Blake Sr. and other activists on Wednesday. Families United includes Austin and Blake Sr.
The video shows a Black man, later identified as justice organizer Michael Harris, being smashed against a wall, pulled to the ground, then thrown into a car as cops attempt to capture him. An officer is seen punching Harris in the face, while his comrades crowd around him, forcefully gripping him.
On social media, a photograph of Harris’ busted lip and skull surfaced.
The video also shows one officer grabbing Blake Sr. by the arm and detaining him.
Viewers can see that Blake Sr., a plus-sized guy, is exhausted and looks to be having difficulty breathing as he is arrested before being rammed into Austin’s automobile.
“They were making a statement, and they used all of these guys as examples,” Justin Blake explained. They are demonstrating that they are a harsh police force.”
Austin was detained by the APD on Wednesday after Blake Sr. was brought to the hospital.
The three people arrested, including Minnesota activist Cortez Rice, were held in the Summit County jail.
According to activist social media user Jolly Good Ginger, Austin, and Rice’s bail were $2,500 each, while Harris’ bond was $5,000.
The Ginger also obtained legal representation for the group through the Ohio National Lawyers Guild, a non-profit organization that works on social justice and equitable issues.