Sen. Kamala Harris, the Democratic vice presidential nominee, visited the family of police shooting victim Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin, on Monday, and expressed to Blake how proud of him she is.
Blake was shot in the back seven times by a Kenosha Police Department officer after resisting arrest and allegedly reaching for a knife in his car on Aug. 23. He has been in the hospital ever since, reportedly paralyzed from the waist down.
What did Harris say?
Attorney Benjamin Crump, who is representing Blake and his family, released a statement on Twitter detailing the meeting. Blake called in to the meeting by phone from the hospital.
"Sen. Harris had an inspirational and uplifting one-hour visit with Jacob Blake, Jr. and his family today," the statement read. "She spoke individually with each family member about how they were handling the trauma and urged them to take care of their physical and mental health. In a moving moment, Jacob Jr. told Sen. Harris that he was proud of her, and the senator told Jacob that she was also proud of him and how he is working through his pain. Jacob Jr. assured her that he was not going to give up on life for the sake of his children."
Sen. @KamalaHarris met with the family of #JacobBlake today, who joined by phone from his hospital bed. The family’… https://t.co/QzpZOuZFtW— Ben Crump (@Ben Crump)1599502940.0
Why does this matter?
Blake was charged with sexual assault in July and had a warrant out for his arrest. The call that brought police to the scene where Blake was shot came from his accuser, who alleged he had taken her keys and refused to leave her property, despite a restraining order.
Blake is, of course, innocent until proven guilty. Harris, however, has at least one high-profile example of not treating accusations of sexual assault that way. When Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh was going through his Senate confirmation process, Harris vehemently opposed it on the basis of Christine Blasey Ford's accusation that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her in 1982.
Even after Kavanaugh was confirmed, Harris was among those calling for Kavanaugh to be impeached after allegations of sexual misconduct from Kavanaugh's time at Yale were published by the New York Times.
Harris has taken a different tone toward the allegation of sexual assault against Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden since becoming his VP nominee. Biden's accuser, Tara Reade, publicly accused Biden of assaulting her in 1993. Harris said in April 2019, when Biden was a potential rival for the nomination, that she believed the women accusing Biden of misconduct.