Celebrities React to Wisconsin Police Shooting of Jacob Blake

Celebrities React to Wisconsin Police Shooting of Jacob Blake

Comics Kevin Hart and Chelsea Handler, actor and rapper Common, NBA athletes LeBron James and Chris Paul,  and singers Demi Lovato and Camila Cabello are among the bold-faced names using their celebrity to draw attention to the police shooting of a Black man, Jacob Blake, on Sunday in Wisconsin.

"Another Black man shot multiple times by police officers," Hart wrote in a tweet. "It's shoot first & detain second in these streets."

Handler tweeted: "Allyship isn't a social media trend. Black people have been tirelessly fighting for centuries, and whatever little progress you thought we made recently carries no weight when you see what continues to happen to Black people. #JacobBlake."

In an Instagram post, Lovato wrote: "How is this still happening? BE THE CHANGE WE NEED."

Blake, a 29-year-old father of six, was shot multiple times by an officer in Kenosha, Wisconsin, as he opened the driver's side door of a vehicle and leaned in with three of his sons inside the car, according to viral video of the incident and Ben Crump, an attorney for the Blake family.

Crump said that Blake had been helping to deescalate a domestic incident when police called to the scene Sunday afternoon drew weapons and Tasered him. As Blake allegedly walked away from the officers to check on his children in the vehicle, at least one officer fired multiple times point-blank at Blake's back, according to the attorney.

Blake's father says his son, who is recovering, was left paralyzed from the waist down by the shooting, although doctors have not said whether the injury is permanent.

Kenosha police have placed the involved officers on administrative leave and turned the investigation over to the Wisconsin Department of Justice, but otherwise have revealed little about the incident, which sparked two nights of protests and destruction in the city.

Paul, an Oklahoma City Thunder point guard and also president of the NBA Players Association, addressed the shooting Monday, brushing aside a reporter's question about a just-completed playoff victory against the Houston Rockets at the NBA's COVID bubble in Orlando to talk about Blake.

"What did you find at the end of this game that helped you guys pull away?” TNT’s Stephanie Ready asked Paul, who responded, "I don’t know, that’s all good and well, I just want to send my prayers out to Jacob Blake and their family."

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“The things that we decided to come down here to play for and we said we’re gonna speak on, the social injustice and the things that continue to happen to our people — it’s not right," Paul continued.

In a followup with other members of the media, he added: "It’s not right, in my postgame interview I sent prayers out to that family and we gotta do something about this because these videos that keep showing up, and keep happening, it’s gotta stop.”

The NBA's James, of the Los Angeles Lakers, retweeted a post from Crump and added: "And y'all wonder why we say what we say about the Police! Someone please tell me WTF is this???!!! Exactly another Black man being targeted."

In a separate press conference appearance Monday, James said: "Having two boys of my own and me being an African American in America and to see what continues to happen with the police brutality towards my kind … it's very troubling," according to Bleacher Report.

He added: "If you're sitting here telling me that there was no way to subdue that gentleman, or to detain him, before the firing of guns, then you're sitting here and you're lying not only to me, you're lying to every African American, every Black person in the community."

Rapper Cardi B circulated the viral video and wrote on Instagram: "Wow this is SICKENING! I can’t believe it! What’s going to be the excuse now? … SOMETHING MUST HAPPEN!"

Cabello tweeted: "Praying for this man and his family. We DEMAND a new world. We need change, we need these cops ARRESTED, and we need a sign that this government has enough empathy and cares enough about humanity to do something about it. #JusticeForJacobBlake."

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