The man who was shot seven times by police, igniting protests in Kenosha, Wisconsin where two men where killed weighed in on the murder trial of accused shooter Kyle Rittenhouse.
"I do still feel strongly that if he was of a different ethnicity or people group, he'd be gone," Jacob Blake, Jr. told TMZ, adding Rittenhouse wouldn't have been hailed a hero if he was Black.
Blake continued, stating that if Rittenhouse wasn't white, local authorities would've harped on the facts of the case –– that Rittenhouse, who was 17 at the time of the killings, was underaged, "traveled to a different state with a firearm that didn't belong to him" and shot and killed two people and wounded another.
Blake said that Rittenhouse's race has been a factor in the case since the fatal incident went down last August.
"He got hi-fives, you know. He was caught throwing up the aryan nation [hand sign]," Blake said, adding that, "the judge seems like he really likes the guy."
The judge in the case, Bruce Schroeder, has come under public scrutiny for his handling of the case, including barring lawyers to refer to the men killed by Rittenhouse as "victims."
Earlier this week, he allowed Rittenhouse to draw slips to finalize the people on the jury who would be deciding his fate and referred to the sole Black juror in the trial as "a Black." He's also thrown out multiple charges against Rittenhouse.
Regardless of the verdict in the trial, Blake says he hopes there won't be any rioting, saying, "destroying stuff won't fix stuff."
In a personal update, Blake said he's gotten a lot of unwanted fame because of the shooting and doesn't necessarily want the attention.
On his health, he says, "I've been hanging in there" but experiences pain every day. Blake also said the shooting made him a believer in God, because "there were five bullets that should have killed me, but they didn't."
For now, Blake is focused on his kids who he says "are tough" but "are having a rough time."
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The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-8255
The National Alliance on Mental Illness 1-800-950-6264
The Association of Black Psychologists 1-301-449-3082
The Anxiety and Depression Association of America 1-240-485-1001
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