Faith Leaders Speak Out against Shooting of Jacob Blake, Subsequent Riots

Milton Quintanilla | Contributor for | Updated: Aug 25, 2020
Faith Leaders Speak Out against Shooting of Jacob Blake, Subsequent Riots

Faith Leaders Speak Out against Shooting of Jacob Blake, Subsequent Riots

On Sunday evening, 29-year-old Jacob Blake was critically wounded after being shot by a police officer in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Several Christian leaders expressed outrage over the shooting as well as the subsequent riots that have taken place as protestors smashed windows and set cars and businesses on fire.

A short clip shows Blake attempting to enter his SUV as officers tried to stop him. A secondary angle shows that Blake had been wrestling with two officers before going towards his car, ignoring police orders as he went.

As Blake opened the door to his car, one officer grabbed his shirt and fired seven shots into his back as onlookers screamed and shouted in horror.

According to BBC News, Blake’s three children were reportedly in the vehicle when the shooting took place. Following the incident, Blake was hospitalized in critical condition. He is expected to survive.

“We shouldn’t have to see one more video of a Black human being brutalized and/or gunned down by police in a clear case of excessive or unwarranted force. Anybody who doesn’t believe we are beyond a state of emergency is choosing to lack empathy and awareness.” wrote Rev. Bernice King, the daughter of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the CEO of the King Center.

Pastor Rich Villodas of New Life Fellowship in Queens, NY, shared how horrific it must have been for Blake’s children to see their father be shot in front of them. Villodas then recounted his own experience of witnessing gun violence while growing up.

“To this day, I have enduring trauma from the gun violence I witnessed growing up in ENY, Brooklyn. On nights I heard the sound of handguns, I thought my father got shot. I can’t fathom the trauma of seeing one’s father shot in front of his kids by cops. Mercy. #JacobBlake,” he wrote.

Meanwhile, other leaders condemned the violent riots that have taken place since the incident.

Dr. James White, a pastor and apologist, criticized the rioters for claiming that they care about Black lives and then turning to destruction.

“They well know who is doing the damage. What they don't know is the mob doesn't care about their token attempt to bribe the mob,” White tweeted. “Why? Because the mob doesn't care about Black lives. It's just a cover for bringing down the society. So the signs are meaningless.”

Virgil Walker, a pastor and co-host of the Just Thinking podcast, highlighted recent gun violence in Chicago that is unaddressed by the media because it does not involve white police officers and black people.

“By now, many know the name Jacob Blake. I doubt anyone can name one of the 65 people shot in Chicago over the weekend” he said. “Apparently, their lives matter less since they weren't shot by police.”

In response to the riots, Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers has called on the National Guard to help police officers. A curfew also went into effect on Tuesday, in which protestors defied.

At the present time, no further details leading up to the shooting have been disclosed other than the police officers were responding to a “domestic” incident. Additionally, no word was offered as to whether or not Blake was reaching for a weapon in his car prompting the officer to discharge his weapon.

In July, court records show that Blake was charged with third-degree sexual assault, trespassing, domestic abuse, and disorderly conduct.

This is a developing story.

Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Scott Olson/Staff

Milton Quintanilla is a freelance writer and content creator. He is a contributing writer for Christian Headlines and the host of the For Your Soul Podcast, a podcast devoted to sound doctrine and biblical truth. He holds a Masters of Divinity from Alliance Theological Seminary.

Faith Leaders Speak Out against Shooting of Jacob Blake, Subsequent Riots