Jacob Blake, who was shot by the Kenosha police, is struggling to heal.

Jacob Blake has rarely spoken publicly since he was shot.,


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As the jury deliberated Kyle Rittenhouse’s fate, the man at the flashpoint of all the trouble in Kenosha, Jacob Blake, was miles away in Chicago, where he undergoes physical therapy in an effort to walk again.

After Mr. Blake, who is Black, was shot and left partially paralyzed by a Kenosha police officer in August 2020, angry demonstrators took to the streets to protest police violence. When those protests were accompanied by acts of vandalism and arson, Mr. Rittenhouse and others went to the scene carrying guns, saying they wanted to protect businesses.


Jacob BlakeCredit…Adria-Joi Watkins, via Associated Press

Mr. Blake, 30, is partially paralyzed, and has set a goal of walking on his own by next summer, said his uncle, Justin Blake, who has been on the steps outside the courthouse in Kenosha during much of the trial.

“He has bad days, there’s no doubt, but he’s so grateful to be alive,” Justin Blake said of his nephew.

Jacob Blake has rarely spoken publicly since he was shot. But he told CNN in August that he thought race made the difference between how the police treated him and how they treated Mr. Rittenhouse, who is white.

“For the reasons they said they shot me, they had every reason to shoot him, but they didn’t,” CNN quoted Mr. Blake as saying. “Honestly, if his skin color was different — and I’m not prejudiced or a racist — he probably would have been labeled a terrorist.”

Mr. Blake has not been following every turn in the Rittenhouse trial, his uncle said, and instead has kept his attention on healing and on a new side job, printing T-shirts. “He needs to be focusing on himself, focusing on his children and his new normal,” Justin Blake said.

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