The latest on Kenosha police shooting of Jacob Blake

By Meg Wagner, Mike Hayes and Melissa Macaya, CNN

Updated 2:16 p.m. ET, January 18, 2021
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5:14 p.m. ET, September 1, 2020

Trump says he does not believe police violence is a systemic issue

From CNN's Maegan Vazquez 

At a roundtable event in Kenosha, Wisconsin, on Tuesday, President Trump answered for a pair Black pastors in the room when they were asked whether they think police violence is a systemic issue.

The two pastors were James Ward and Sharon Ward, who said they were pastors for Julia Jackson, the mother of Jacob Blake. Blake, a Black man, was shot seven times in the back by a Kenosha police officer, sparking demonstrations in the city.

The Wards were the only African Americans seated at the dais for a roundtable on public safety and were the only participants to bring up Blake's shooting before the President took questions from the press. 

When a reporter asked the Wards whether, like other Black community leaders, they believed police violence was a systemic issue, Trump interjected, "I don't believe that. I think the police do an incredible job and I think you do have some bad apples."

He added, "You do have the other situation, too, where they're under tremendous pressure and they don't handle it well. They call it choking and it happens."

The President also seemed to suggest that his personal interactions with police were enough evidence for him to know that police violence was not a systemic issue.

"No, but I don't believe that at all," he told the reporter. "I've met so many police. I have the endorsement of like, so many, maybe everybody."

The pastors never got the chance to answer the reporter's question, including when the reporter attempted to clarify that the question was not directed toward the President. It's not clear if Trump understood that the question was meant for the pastors.

Earlier, the Wards told the President they wanted to work with him to restore unity amid demonstrations around the country calling for policing reform.

"We believe that we can help to listen with empathy and compassion to the real pain that hurts Black Americans, but we want to be of service to you and to our nation to do whatever we can to bring true healing, true peace and to really seek God's very best in our nation," James Ward told Trump after offering a prayer.

Read more here.

4:43 p.m. ET, September 1, 2020

State investigators have worked more than 600 hours on the shooting of Jacob Blake

From CNN’s Konstantin Toropin

State investigators from Wisconsin’s Department of Justice’s Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) have now worked more than 600 hours on the shooting of Jacob Blake as of Saturday, a statement from the agency said today. 

DCI, along with FBI agents, have conducted 88 witness interviews and collected more than 100 pieces of evidence, the statement said.

Additionally, state agents say they have downloaded 28 videos for review. 

At least 4 search warrants have been issued as part of the investigation as well, the statement said.

DCI is the lead agency on the investigation but they are being assisted by the FBI, Wisconsin State Patrol, and the Kenosha County Sheriff’s Office, the statement said.

4:01 p.m. ET, September 1, 2020

Trump says use of body cameras is "very tough" despite Barr and other police officials supporting them

From CNN's Allie Malloy 

President Donald Trump speaks during a roundtable discussion on community safety on September 1 in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
President Donald Trump speaks during a roundtable discussion on community safety on September 1 in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images

President Trump said that the universal use of police body cameras is “very tough” but when he asked his Attorney General Bill Barr and two other law enforcement officers in the room in Kenosha, Wisconsin, they all agreed that the use of body cameras is a good thing. 

When initially asked whether he supported all law enforcement officers wearing the cameras, Trump replied: “Body cam?” pausing for several moments before adding: “Well… that’s very interesting. Let me ask Bill to answer that question.” 

Barr said it’s a “local issue” for each police force and community to decide upon but added that it seems to be a good thing in those communities.  

After Barr’s comments Trump added, “It’s very tough — the whole thing with the body cam. You read it and you read two sides of a story.”

Trump then asked two law enforcement officials in the room to weigh in, both of which said they supported its use and that it actually is able to tell both sides of a police encounter. 


4:01 p.m. ET, September 1, 2020

Trump says he feels "terribly for anyone who goes through that," in response to question about Jacob Blake

From CNN's Nikki Carvajal 

President Trump said he feels “terribly for anybody who goes through that,” when asked what his message was for the family of Jacob Blake, as he spoke at a roundtable in Kenosha, Wisconsin.

“I feel terribly for anybody that goes through that, that’s why we’re so honored to meet the pastors,” Trump said. “I feel terribly for anybody that goes through that. As you know, it’s under investigation.”  

“It’s a big thing happening right now,” he continued, “I guess it’s under a local investigation. I know, Bill, you’re also participating,” he said to Attorney General William Barr. 

“I hope they come up with the right answer,” Trump said. “It’s a complicated subject, to be honest with you. But I feel terribly for anybody who has to go through – and I didn’t get to speak to the mother, I hear she’s a fine woman. I hear from the pastor, a really fine woman. But you can see when I spoke with the pastors – I see exactly what it is and they understand where I am."

Some context: It was the first time the President himself talked about Blake’s shooting during the roundtable. He repeatedly addressed people whose businesses were impacted by protests and pledged his support for law enforcement, but never once addressed police brutality, other than to again voice support for officers who “choke” and kill someone unnecessarily. 

It wasn’t until more than 30 minutes into the event that someone in the room mentioned Blake by name – when a pastor said he continued to “pray for Jacob’s healing.” 

The President never acknowledged that comment. 

The only condemnation Trump made was to “condemn the dangerous anti-police rhetoric,” despite the fact that an armed supporter of the President, reportedly acting as a vigilante, allegedly killed two people on the streets of Kenosha during the protests.  

3:53 p.m. ET, September 1, 2020

Trump’s visit to Kenosha has brought supporters and protesters to the streets

CNN's Omar Jimenez

As President Trump held a roundtable at Bradford High School, Black Lives Matter chants were met with All Lives Matter chants outside the Kenosha County Courthouse.

Everyone has stayed peaceful, CNN's Omar Jimenez reports, nothing more than some passionate arguments.

One protestor named Lamar Whitfield, with the No More foundation out of Chicago, delivered a speech that seemed to unite the two sides.

Here is part of what he said, “Look at my skin and then look around you, we are all different sets of people fighting for one cause. There’s no way we can allow things that have been happening in this world to keep continuing to happen.”

Here's a look at the scene:

From CNN's Omar Jimenez
From CNN's Omar Jimenez

From CNN's Omar Jimenez
From CNN's Omar Jimenez

3:57 p.m. ET, September 1, 2020

Here's who is participating in Trump's community safety roundtable 

From CNN's Matthew Hoye

President Donald Trump participates in a roundtable discussion on community safety with other officials in Kenosha, Wisconsin, on September 1.
President Donald Trump participates in a roundtable discussion on community safety with other officials in Kenosha, Wisconsin, on September 1. Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images

President Trump is participating in a roundtable focused on community safety in Kenosha, Wisconsin.

Here is a list of participants, according to a list sent by Deputy White House Press Secretary Judd Deere:

Trump administration

  • Attorney General William Barr
  • Department of Homeland Security Acting Secretary Chad Wolf

Members of Congress

  • Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson
  • Rep. Bryan Steil of Wisconsin’s 1st Congressional District 

External participants

  • Kenosha Chief of Police Daniel Miskinis
  • Sheriff of Kenosha County David Beth
  • Zach Rodriguez, supervisor of Kenosha County
  • Erin Decker, supervisor of Kenosha County
  • Don Kapla, president of Wisconsin Fraternal Order of Police 
  • Jerry Johnson, National Trustee of Wisconsin Fraternal Order of Police 
  • Pastor James Ward, pastor of INSIGHT Church 
  • Pastor Sharon Ward, pastor of INSIGHT Church 
  • Major General Paul E. Knapp, adjutant general of Wisconsin National Guard 
  • John Morrissey, city administrator of Kenosha 
  • State Sen. Van Wanggaard from Wisconsin’s 21st State Senate District 
  • State Rep. Samantha Kerkman from Wisconsin’s 61st State House District 
  • Scott Carpenter, co-owner of B&L Office Furniture 
  • Linda Carpenter, co-owner, B&L Office Furniture 
  • Kimberly Warner, owner of Authentique Gifts and RePour’d Candle Factory 
  • John Rode III, owner of Rode’s Camera Shop 
  • Riki Tagliapietra, director of operations of The Grease and Honey Group of Kenosha



3:24 p.m. ET, September 1, 2020

Trump announces millions in funding to law enforcement and small businesses in Kenosha

From CNN's Maegan Vazquez 

Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images
Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images

President Trump announced on Tuesday that his administration would be providing millions of dollars in funding toward law enforcement, public safety resources and small business relief in Kenosha and the state of Wisconsin. 

“I’m committed to helping Kenosha rebuild. We will provide $1 million dollars to the Kenosha law enforcement so that you have some extra money to go out and do what you have to do,” Trump said during a public safety roundtable in Kenosha. 

“I’m also providing nearly $4 million dollars to support the small businesses that I talked about today that got burned up, burned down. And we’re going to be providing over $42 million dollars to support public safety statewide, including direct support for law enforcement and funding for additional prosecutors to punish criminals, and resources to provide services to victims of crime,” he added. 

The $42 million, Trump said, was funding Attorney General Bill Barr was pushing for. 

2:54 p.m. ET, September 1, 2020

Trump says he will meet with Blake's family pastor

From CNN's Nikki Carvajal

President Trump spoke and took a few questions during his tour of the command center in Kenosha, Wisconsin.

Trump said he would meet Jacob Blake’s family pastor while he’s in Kenosha.

Some background: Yesterday, Blake’s father told CNN that the family does not have a pastor, but multiple administration officials have said that the White House has been in contact with Blake’s mother’s pastor.

“I’m going to meet him in a little while. He represents the family. And I think it’s probably better off if it’s handled locally right now,” Trump said. “It’s under investigation as you know, so I think it’s much better – I actually suggested we handle it locally.”

It’s not clear if the President is referring to the meeting with Blake family representatives.

“I was going to speak to the mother yesterday,” Trump said, referring to Blake’s mother. “I hear she’s a very fine woman, I was going to speak to her, but then I hear there are a lot of lawyers on the phone, but I said I have enough lawyers in my life.”

Trump said he looks “forward to” meeting with the pastor.

“This is going to heal very quickly,” Trump said, of the overall situation in Kenosha. “We’re going to help them from an economic standpoint.” The President continued speaking, but the rest of his comments were cut out due to signal issues.

2:54 p.m. ET, September 1, 2020

As Trump tours damage in Kenosha, here's what other parts of the city are like

From CNN's Julia Jones, Sara Sidner and Shimon Prokupecz

President Trump is visiting Kenosha, Wisconsin today, where protesters have rallied nightly following the police shooting of Jacob Blake, a 29-year-old Black father on Aug. 23.

As he left the White House this morning, Trump said he's visiting the city to show support for the National Guard and local law enforcement. His first stop after landing was to visit a building that had been damaged in the protests.

The city's uptown strip is fairly damaged, as are some parts of the downtown area near the courthouse. Pictures from one street of downtown showed several boarded-up businesses, but an otherwise calm scene.

And in many of the city's neighborhoods, it's business as usual.

Things appear in order near Bradford High School, where President Trump is scheduled to visit later today. The school is just a few blocks from where Jacob Blake was shot — and the Blake family is hosting a community event at the site today. There are bouncy houses for children to play and a BBQ for the community.

Remember: Trump said he’s not planning to meet with Blake’s family during the visit because they wanted to involve lawyers. 

Here's what it looks like at the community event today:

From CNN's Sara Sidner
From CNN's Sara Sidner