The mother of Jacob Blake, a Black man whose police-involved shooting sparked riots in Kenosha, Wisconsin, said Tuesday she has the “utmost respect” for President Trump and thinks the destruction plaguing her city is “disgusting.”
Speaking to CNN’s Don Lemon in a Skype interview, Julia Jackson slammed the rioters who are using her son’s name as an excuse to loot and burn businesses.
“My family and I are very hurt and quite frankly disgusted,” she said. “And as his mother, please don’t burn up property and cause havoc and tear your own homes down in my son’s name. You shouldn’t do it. People shouldn’t do it anyway, but to use my child or any other mother or father’s child, our tragedy to react in that manner is just not acceptable.”
Mr. Blake, 29, is reportedly paralyzed from the waist down after he was shot in the back by a police officer during an arrest stemming from a domestic dispute in Kenosha on Sunday. Two officers were placed on administrative leave pending an investigation into the incident.
The city has since seen three long nights of violence and destruction, with two people being fatally shot and another wounded during the mayhem Tuesday night. Police have charged Kyle Rittenhouse, 17, of Illinois, with murder in the shooting deaths. He is reportedly the person seen in social media posts carrying a rifle on the street during the rioting.
During her interview on CNN, Ms. Jackson was asked by Mr. Lemon whether she had a message “to the politicians who are out there,” specifically Mr. Trump or Democratic presidential nominee Joseph R. Biden.
“For our President Trump, first I want to say a family member — and I don’t know if it was heard or not — said something that was not kind,” she said. “She is hurting and I do apologize for that. Our outburst does not reflect our behavior.
“And also, for President Trump, I’m sorry I missed your call because had I not missed your call, maybe the comments that you made would have been different,” she continued. “And I’m not mad at you at all. I have the utmost respect for you as the leader of our country. Like I said before, and I’m not saying this to him directly, we should always get the details from the right source before we start throwing bricks.”
It is unclear what family member Ms. Jackson was talking about or what comments by the president she was referring to. The president has not commented publicly on the shooting of Mr. Blake, but Mr. Biden has, highlighting the urgency to “dismantle systemic racism” and calling for a full investigation.
White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows told reporters Monday that he expected Attorney General William P. Barr to debrief Mr. Trump on the matter. On Tuesday, the president urged Gov. Tony Evers to call in the National Guard to stop the violence. The governor had already deployed 150 state guardsmen at the time of the president’s tweet, and he later bumped that number up to 250, but the Trump administration called for more.
On Wednesday afternoon, Mr. Trump announced he was ordering National Guard troops and federal law enforcement officers into Kenosha after he said Mr. Evers agreed to accept federal assistance to quell the violence.