March on Washington rallies after Jacob Blake shooting

By Melissa Macaya, Meg Wagner and Veronica Rocha, CNN

Updated 8:27 p.m. ET, August 28, 2020
15 Posts
Sort byDropdown arrow
12:06 p.m. ET, August 28, 2020

Martin Luther King III describes what today's march would mean to his father 

Martin Luther King III, second from left, prepares for a television interview at the March on Washington on August 28.
Martin Luther King III, second from left, prepares for a television interview at the March on Washington on August 28. Alex Brandon/AP

CNN’s Suzanne Malveaux is reporting from the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC, where activists are gathered to commemorate the 57th anniversary of the March on Washington.

She told CNN's Kate Bolduan that she spoke to Martin Luther King III about what his father, Martin Luther King Jr., would think about today’s march.

“He says his father would be proud of the people who have come here, who are fighting for justice, but he would also be very sad that we're still at this place where our society is so broken," she said.

Malveaux said she also asked Luther King III what keeps him up at night.

"He said it's the fact that his 12-year-old daughter has already asked him the question, 'why do we still have to do this? I thought granddaddy had put this to bed, put this to rest,' and he says it's because we have to. We have to continue this fight."

Watch more:

12:00 p.m. ET, August 28, 2020

What it's like at today's March on Washington

Eric Baradat/AFP via Getty Images
Eric Baradat/AFP via Getty Images

Activists have gathered at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC, today, the 57th anniversary of the March on Washington. Speakers are addressing the crowd now.

CNN's Suzanne Malveaux, who's at the event, said it's an emotional day for many of the protesters.

“It's been such an emotionally charged pre-program before the official program,” Malveaux reported. “People who have been crying, people who have expressed rage, but mostly just real frustration here. Some very passionate and personal stories about people who have lost their loved ones."

Today's event is dubbed the "Get Your Knee Off Our Necks" Commitment March, a reference to the police killing of George Floyd, who died after held down with police officer's knee as he protested that he couldn't breathe. 

The Rev. Al Sharpton's National Action Network began planning the march in partnership with the NAACP and others after he announced the event during Floyd's funeral in June. But it comes during a week that has seen intensified called for social justice and police reform following the police shooting of Jacob Blake in Wisconsin.

Blake, a 29-year-old Black father, was shot by police on Sunday. His family says he is now paralyzed from the waist down.

Today's march comes during the coronavirus pandemic. Here's a look at the socially distanced protest:

Julio Cortez/AP
Julio Cortez/AP

Paul Morigi/Getty Images
Paul Morigi/Getty Images

11:34 a.m. ET, August 28, 2020

Kenosha shooting suspect's hearing pushed back to next month

From CNN's Melissa Alonso

Kyle Rittenhouse, left, with backwards cap, walks along Sheridan Road in Kenosha, Wisconsin, on Tuesday, August 25, with another armed civilian.
Kyle Rittenhouse, left, with backwards cap, walks along Sheridan Road in Kenosha, Wisconsin, on Tuesday, August 25, with another armed civilian. Adam Rogan/The Journal Times/AP

The suspect in the Kenosha, Wisconsin, fatal shooting will stay in Lake County, Illinois, for a month and a hearing on the status of his extradition has been set for Sept. 25, according to the Illinois judge presiding over matters of his extradition. 

Kyle Rittenhouse, 17, did not appear at his video extradition hearing, which lasted only a few minutes. 

Rittenhouse is not waiving extradition proceedings, according to a court appointed attorney in Illinois. 

The public defender said the delay would allow Rittenhouse to meet with a private attorney and for that attorney to file an appearance with the court. 

Rittenhouse faces multiple charges for the shooting incident during a night of unrest in Kenosha earlier this week that left two people dead and a third person seriously injured, authorities have said. 

Correction: A previous version of this post said Rittenhouse would be extradited on Sept. 25. His hearing will be on Sept. 25.

11:18 a.m. ET, August 28, 2020

What we know so far about the shooting of Jacob Blake and the protests that followed

Jacob Blake, left, is seen with his sons.
Jacob Blake, left, is seen with his sons. From Ben Crump/Twitter

Jacob Blake, a 29-year-old Black father, was shot by police in Kenosha, Wisconsin, on Sunday. The shooting sparked protests in Wisconsin and across the country.

If you need to read in, here's what we know about the shooting, the aftermath and the ongoing protests for social justice:

  • What happened: Kenosha officers were called to a domestic incident about 5:11 p.m. Sunday, police said. Wisconsin state investigators said that when police arrived, they used a taser to try to stop Blake, before a single officer fired his weapon seven times and injured him. The officers rendered aid before Blake was flown to the Froedtert Hospital in Milwaukee, police said.
  • Blake's condition: Blake underwent surgery and his family says he is now paralyzed from the waist down. His family said he is handcuffed to his hospital bed.
  • An investigation: An probe into the shooting was quickly turned over to the Wisconsin Department of Justice and a federal civil rights investigation was launched. Officials identified Officer Rusten Sheskey as the person who shot Blake when he tried to enter his vehicle. The officer, who has been employed by Kenosha police for seven years, was placed on administrative leave.
  • A deadly shooting at the protest: Protesters have rallied in Kenosha nightly since the shooting. At Tuesday's protest, two people were killed and a third was seriously wounded in the a shooting. Police have named 17-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse as a suspect in the shooting and he now faces homicide charges as well as a felony charge for attempted homicide.
  • Pro sports boycotts: What began as the Milwaukee Bucks' decision to boycott their playoff game following Blake's shooting cascaded into a wave of similar protests across the American sports scene by Wednesday night. Yesterday, several professional sports teams announced they would skip practice and instead hold discussions on social justice.

10:15 a.m. ET, August 28, 2020

Jacob Blake's father will march in Washington today

From CNN's Melissa Alonso

CNN
CNN

Jacob Blake's father, Jacob Blake Sr., is in Washington for the anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.'s march there. 

Blake shared his family's history in civil rights with CNN's Alisyn Camerota 

"My father was there for the first march in Washington. He went through Selma to Montgomery. He went across the Edmund Pettus. He marched for open housing in Evanston, Illinois. He built two churches, before he got his last assignment at Ebenezer AME church in Evanston, Illinois. They built a building, named after the Robinsons, and my father. His name was on a building there on Emerson street in Evanston. His name is on another building at Maple and Emerson that he built, the only one of its kind in Illinois. So yes, I'd say my family has a history of civil rights," Blake said.

Thousands are expected to gather in Washington, DC, today for the 57th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.'s iconic “I Have a Dream” speech.

11:24 a.m. ET, August 28, 2020

The March on Washington returns to the nation's capital today. Here's what to expect.

From CNN's Veronica Stracqualursi

Attendees sit socially distanced at the 2020 March on Washington, officially known as the “Commitment March: Get Your Knee Off our Necks,” at the Lincoln Memorial on Friday in Washington.
Attendees sit socially distanced at the 2020 March on Washington, officially known as the “Commitment March: Get Your Knee Off our Necks,” at the Lincoln Memorial on Friday in Washington. Paul Morigi/Getty Images

Tens of thousands of people are expected to gather today at the Lincoln Memorial to commemorate the historic 1963 civil rights March on Washington.

The demonstration, taking place on the 57th anniversary of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.'s iconic "I Have a Dream" speech, seeks "to restore and recommit to the dream Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. defined" that year.

Here are key things to know about today's event:

  • Who's organizing it: The Rev. Al Sharpton's National Action Network began planning the march in partnership with the NAACP and others after he announced the event during George Floyd's funeral in June. The announcement came at the height of nationwide protests against police brutality and racial injustice spurred by the police killing of Floyd —who died in late May after a White Minneapolis police officer knelt on the Black man's neck — and other Black Americans. Sharpton and Martin Luther King III, a son of the late civil rights legend, are expected to participate in the event. Event organizers have stressed that the march will comply with health guidance and local ordinances related to the coronavirus pandemic. Face masks are required to march. Masks, gloves and sanitizer will be also be provided on site.
  • Marchers want police reform and justice: More than 200,000 people participated in the original 1963 march, officially titled the "March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom," which was led by Martin Luther King Jr. and others. This year's March on Washington — dubbed the "Get Your Knee Off Our Necks" Commitment March — will reiterate the demands for police reform, criminal justice reform, and racial equality. At age 23, Lewis was one of the youngest keynote speakers at the 1963 march. Decades later, as a statesman, he spoke on the 50th anniversary of the march in 2013. Marchers will call on the US Senate to pass a voting rights bill named after the late civil rights icon and longtime Georgia Rep. John Lewis, and police reform legislation named after Floyd.
  • It's led by the families that "know the pain:" In announcing the march in June, Sharpton said it would be led by the families that "know the pain" and know what it's like to be "neglected," including the families of Floyd and Eric Garner, a Black man who was choked to death in 2014 by a police officer in New York. McMillian told CNN on Friday that the program is still being finalized. But expected speakers include Sharpton, Martin Luther King III, civil rights attorney Ben Crump, members of Congress and the families of Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and Trayvon Martin. Family members of of Jacob Blake, a 29-year-old Black man who was shot by police in Kenosha, Wisconsin, are also expected to participate.

Read more here.

10:04 a.m. ET, August 28, 2020

Here's what we know about the officer who shot Jacob Blake

From CNN's Scott Glover and Casey Tolan

Before he was identified as the police officer captured in a viral video in which he shoots a Black man multiple times in the back, Rusten Sheskey pedaled around the lakeside city of Kenosha, Wisconsin, as part of the bike patrol and walked the shopping mall beat during the holidays.

He'd occasionally bring a squad car home from work and turn on the siren for neighborhood kids, one neighbor recalled. An American flag flies outside his home in a middle-class neighborhood.

But five days after Sheskey's shooting of 29-year-old Jacob Blake prompted protests and rioting in the typically quiet streets of Kenosha, much remains unknown about the seven-year veteran officer and what prompted him to open fire.

Authorities have declined to provide information on a number of critical questions in the turbulent days since Blake was shot. Most importantly, they have not offered any detailed explanation for why Sheskey used deadly force on Blake as he leaned into a parked car.

Police and city officials also have not responded to public records requests for Sheskey's history with the department, including any previous uses of force or disciplinary issues. According to a memo from the police chief published on the city's website, Sheskey received a one-day suspension in 2017 for a violation regarding "safe operation of department vehicles."

Meanwhile, Blake remains handcuffed to a hospital bed. He was left paralyzed from the waist down in the aftermath of the shooting, which took place in front of three of his young children who were in the car.

Dispatch records indicate that Sheskey and other officers responded to a complaint from a woman saying that Blake was not supposed to be at her residence and would not leave. She also said he had taken her keys and would not give them back.

At a news conference Wednesday, Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul said officers fired a Taser at Blake before the shooting, but that it was "not successful." Kaul said Blake admitted possessing a knife and officers recovered one from the floor of the car he was leaning into when Sheskey opened fire. Kaul did not say if Blake had brandished the weapon or what precise reason Sheskey gave for firing multiple shots.

Blake's family has demanded answers, too, wondering why Sheskey decided to use a gun to resolve the situation. At a news conference on Tuesday, Blake's family attorney Ben Crump called for the officer's arrest.

"We are demanding that the prosecutor arrest the officer who shot Jacob Blake. And we are also asking that these officers who violated the policies and their training be terminated immediately," he said.

Read more here.

Hear more from the Wisconsin attorney general on the investigation: 

9:43 a.m. ET, August 28, 2020

The Milwaukee Bucks sent Jacob Blake a signed jersey

From CNN's Melissa Alonso, Jill Martin, Leah Asmelash and David Close

Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Jacob Blake's father, Jacob Blake Sr., told CNN's Alisyn Camerota that his son is in and out of consciousness and he's not aware of the situation in Kenosha, Wisconsin.

Blake Sr. said the focus is on his son's recovery and he does not want to upset his son with news of unrest Kenosha. 

Blake Sr. also said his son received a gift from his favorite team.

"The thing that made him smile was the Milwaukee Bucks. That made him smile, and I'm from Chicago. But now I am truly a Milwaukee Bucks fan because they reached out to my son, sent a jersey that was signed by the whole organization," Blake said.

Some background: The Milwaukee Bucks' decided to boycott their playoff game following  Blake's shooting in the team's home state — a move that cascaded into a wave of similar protests across the American sports.

Soon after the Wisconsin-based team decided to not play, the NBA announced it would postpone Game 5 of three different playoff series — Bucks vs. Orlando Magic, Houston Rockets vs. Oklahoma City Thunder and Los Angeles Lakers vs. Portland Trail Blazers.

Blake's father thanks the Milwaukee Bucks:

9:29 a.m. ET, August 28, 2020

Attorney for accused Kenosha shooter says client acted in self-defense

From CNN's Kevin Flower

An attorney representing the 17-year-old accused in the fatal shootings of two protestors in Kenosha, Wisconsin reportedly said his client, Kyle Rittenhouse, was acting in self-defense when he opened fire Monday night.

In a statement to NBC news attorney John Pierce said, "This was classic self-defense and we are going to prove it. We will obtain justice for Kyle no matter how hard the fight takes or how long it takes.”

Pierce is a noted conservative lawyer whose firm has represented Mayor Rudy Giuliani, Tulsi Gabbard’s presidential campaign, George Papadopoulos, and former baseball player Lenny Dykstra. 

On Thursday Pierce tweeted that he was ready to represent while openly asking for contact information for Rittenhouse.“…I will handle his defense with a team of the best lawyers in the USA,” he tweeted.

CNN was unable to reach Pierce for comment. 

In support of the Rittenhouse defense Pierce and noted libel attorney L. Lin Wood, said their newly established #Fightback Foundation will help pay legal fees. 

On its website the #Fightback Foundation describes itself as being dedicated to defending freedom, stopping "the radical left" and "fake news media,” through lawsuits and court action.