Washington, Sep 8 (IANS) Democratic Vice Presidential nominee Kamala Harris privately met the family of Jacob Blake, the African-American man who has been paralyzed from the waist down after being shot seven times in the back by a police officer last month in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
Benjamin Crump, an attorney representing the Blake family, said in a statement that Harris on Monday spoke with the family in Milwaukee during her first appearance in the key swing state, reports Xinhua news agency.
She asked about how they were handling the trauma of the August 23 shooting and the Democrats’ legislation efforts focusing on police practices and law enforcement accountability, Crump said.
During the meeting with the family, Harris spoke with the 29-year-old Jacob Blake on the phone.
After the meeting, the California Senator told reporters: “They’re an incredible family… And what they’ve endured, and they just do it with such dignity and grace. And you know, they’re carrying the weight of a lot of voices on their shoulders.”
She added that her message to the Blake family was “to express concern for their well-being, and of course for their brother and their son’s well-being. And to let them know that they have support”, CBS News reported.
The Blake family is launching a civil suit against the Kenosha Police Department over the shooting.
The police officer, Rusten Sheskey, who shot Blake is on administrative leave pending an investigation.
Harris’ meeting came a week after Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden visited the family in Kenosha on September 3.
Biden and his wife Jill met Blake’s father, brother, two sisters and members of his legal team in private.
Jacob Blake and his mother called into the meeting for about 15 minutes from the hospital.
Kenosha has become a new epicentre of protests and riots against police brutality and racism last month.
Nationwide protests were triggered earlier this year after George Floyd, an unarmed African-American man, died in Minneapolis on May 25 after a white police officer knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes.
While Biden has made race relations a pillar of his run for the White House in response to the movement, President Donald Trump has focused on violent aspects of the demonstrations and doubled down on his support for police officers.
Wisconsin is a critical battleground state in the November 3 presidential election.
In 2016, Trump won the state by roughly 23,000 votes.