Press Release

AFT President Weingarten on the Shooting of Jacob Blake

For Release: 

Monday, August 24, 2020


Sarah Hager Mosby

WASHINGTON—AFT President Randi Weingarten issued the following statement after video footage surfaced showing Kenosha, Wis., resident Jacob Blake being shot several times at close range in the back during an encounter with police over the weekend:

“Jacob Blake was shot seven times in the back by a police officer who was close enough that he was holding Blake’s T-shirt. His children watched from inside his car. How could this—what appears to be an unconscionable act of brutality—happen to yet another unarmed Black man? When will it stop?

“Every Black person in this country has a right to live, a right to breathe, and a right to be a part of their community without fear of being attacked because of the color of their skin. We are at an inflection point in our country’s history. We must dismantle the systemic racism that plagues and haunts us. People of color in America are exhausted and terrified—and they have every right to be.  

“We call for an immediate, full and transparent investigation to hold the officers accountable. We pray for Jacob Blake’s recovery and commit to fight against police brutality in all its heinous forms.”

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The AFT represents 1.7 million pre-K through 12th-grade teachers; paraprofessionals and other school-related personnel; higher education faculty and professional staff; federal, state and local government employees; nurses and healthcare workers; and early childhood educators.