Jacob Blake says Kyle Rittenhouse’s acquittal is yet another example of white privilege in the criminal justice system.
Speaking to TMZ late last week, the Black man who was shot by Kenosha police in August 2020, says that had the 18-year-old white man who shot and killed two protesters and injured another been a different ethnicity, “he’d be gone.”
"I do still feel very strongly that if he was a different ethnicity or people/group, he'd be gone. There wouldn't be no 'he's a hero' and this, that and the third," Blake told the outlet on Thursday (November 18). "They would have said, 'He's underage, he traveled to a different state with a firearm that didn't belong to him.'"
Rittenhouse was found not guilty on Friday on five counts linked to the fatal shooting amid protests against police brutality which were sparked by Blake’s shooting.
Blake was also asked about the role of race in the Rittenhouse shooting, he says it does.
"The high fives, he was caught throwing up the Aryan nation [hand sign], the judge seems like he really likes the guy [Rittenhouse]," he stated. "Honestly the kid [Rittenhouse] might not be a bad person. I'm not saying he's a bad person at all, but what he did — he shouldn't have been there. He shouldn't have been there."
Rittenhouse’s defense argued the then-17-year-old fired an assault rifle in self-defense. Blake was shot last August when Kenosha police responded to a domestic incident. Blake was shot in the back seven times by officer Rusten Sheskey, paralyzing him from the waist down.
"I wish this didn't happen to me," he said of the August shooting. "But I also wish that it didn't escalate to the point where it caused a riot. I am not happy about that. But what can we do. The world — this type of stuff been going on for a long time."
Blake also spoke about the specifics of the Rittenhouse shooting with TMZ.
"We know that he shouldn't have been out there," he said. "No matter if these people tried to kick him in the face, hit him with a skateboard, and there was even a guy he shot in the arm. The other guy had a gun — he didn't even shoot him. He could have opened fire on him easily. You know he was right there. He chose not to shoot him. The guy that he shot seems like a very stand up individual."
Watch the full interview below.