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Biden, Harris speak to family of Jacob Blake

Jacob Blake’s father said Biden brought nothing but “love, admiration, caring” and empathy to the phone call.

HOUSTON, TEXAS - SEPTEMBER 12: Democratic presidential candidates former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) speak after the Democratic Presidential Debate at Texas Southern University’s Health and PE Center on September 12, 2019 in Houston, Texas. Ten Democratic presidential hopefuls were chosen from the larger field of candidates to participate in the debate hosted by ABC News in partnership with Univision. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images) ORG XMIT: 775390385
Democratic presidential nominee former Vice President Joe Biden and running mate Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif). The candidates spoke with the family of Jacob Blake Wednesday.
Getty Images file

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and running mate Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., talked to Jacob Blake’s parents and one of his sisters for about an hour Wednesday, his father told the Sun-Times.

Biden brought nothing but “love, admiration, caring” and empathy to the phone call, Jacob Blake’s father said. He added that Biden told them he understands what it’s like to undergo family tragedies — Biden’s first wife and daughter died in a car crash in 1972, and Biden’s son Beau died of brain cancer in 2015.

“All he did was offer his support,” the elder Jacob Blake said. “He was 100% real.”

The conversation included memories of when the senior Jacob Blake met both Biden and Harris on separate occasions. He met Biden at the age of 8 at an event because his father — and Jacob Blake’s grandfather — was a civil rights activist and minister in Evanston.

The senior Jacob Blake, who attended Winston-Salem State University, met Harris, who attended Howard University, at an event for his school’s homecoming football game in the 1980s. Both schools are historically Black colleges.

“It resonated that [Biden] was able to bridge a gap,” the elder Jacob Blake said. “Good people that are leaders understand that the only way to get next to a constituent, the fastest way, is to make yourself relate to that person.”

The younger Jacob Blake, 29, was shot by police officers in Kenosha, Wisconsin, Sunday evening. Some witnesses say Blake, who attended middle and high school in Evanston, was trying to break up a fight. The cellphone video of the incident shows Blake walking away from officers and opening up his car door before appearing to be shot in the back by police.

Jacob Blake’s surgery Tuesday night was successful in alleviating some of his pain, his father said, but he’s still paralyzed. The elder Jacob Blake was going to the Milwaukee hospital Wednesday to see his son for the first time. When he arrived in the city Tuesday, he wasn’t able to see his son because of the surgery.

“God’s given me what I asked,” his father said. “All I asked from God is, ‘If you see fit, let my son live.’”