'I'm distraught for their families': Jacob Blake's family reacts to Kyle Rittenhouse verdict

ByABC7 Chicago Digital Team WLS logo
Friday, November 19, 2021
Jacob Blake's family calls Kyle Rittenhouse verdict 'injustice'
"They chose to represent themselves and come out here to march in peace for Jacob Blake - it led to their death."

KENOSHA, Wis. (WLS) -- The family of Jacob Blake is reacting to the not guilty verdict in the Kyle Rittenhouse trial, calling it an "injustice."

Blake is a Black man who was shot seven times by a white Kenosha police officer last summer, which sparked demonstrations that drew the then 17-year-old Rittenhouse to the Wisconsin community.

RELATED: Jacob Blake speaks out about being shot by Kenosha police officer

Blake's uncle, Justin Blake, said he was in "shock and awe" after hearing the jury acquitted the Antioch teen on all counts, including in the fatal shooting of two men.

"How many cases do you need to see of Caucasian cops or other people walking out the door after murdering people that are either African American or supporting African Americans," Justin said.

Rittenhouse fatally shot Joseph Rosenbaum, 36, Anthony Huber, 26, and wounded demonstrator Gaige Grosskreutz, now 28.

READ MORE: Kyle Rittenhouse trial: Jury reaches not guilty verdict in Kenosha shooting case

"This attack on these two young men who had no weapon to defend themselves against an AR-15. They chose to represent themselves and come out here to march in peace for Jacob Blake - it led to their death," Justin said.

Rittenhouse repeatedly claimed he fired his AR-15-style rifle to save his own life.

WATCH: Jacob Blake's family reacts to Rittenhouse verdict

"Our hearts are broken for their families." Jacob Blake's uncle reacts to Kyle Rittenhouse not guilty verdict."

"This city, county and state deserves better," Justin said. "I'm distraught for their families but I'm going to try and suck it up and call and support them."

The teen from Antioch, Illinois traveled to the community on the Wisconsin border after businesses in the city were ransacked and burned following Blake's officer-involved shooting.

RELATED: Timeline: Jacob Blake shooting, unrest, Kyle Rittenhouse arrest

"We've been fighting in this country for hundreds, for a hundred years. And for this to happen in 2021, it's upsetting to us but it should be upsetting to everyone out there in the audience," Justin said about the verdict.

When asked what his message is for upset protesters, Blake's uncle said, "They should be."

Some protests gathered outside the Kenosha courthouse following the verdict Friday, and the Blake family is encouraging everyone to remain peaceful.

"We ask everyone to recognize human life, to try not to hurt and harm each other," Justin said. "I hope the world is watching."

The Blake family also said they are now working to approach President Joe Biden to reopen the Department of Justice case on the Jacob Blake shooting.

"These are unjust things that have to be righted while under a democratic party that we help put in office," Blake's uncle added.