Derrick Johnson, president and CEO of the NAACP, issued the following statement regarding the police shooting of Jacob Blake, a Wisconsin father of three:

“The appalling and heinous shooting of Jacob Blake is yet another stark reminder of the free-willing atrocities committed against Black people at the hands of those entrusted to maintain public safety. This recent shooting comes on the heels of civil unrest that has caused the world to take heed to a long-standing pandemic of systemic racism and injustice. 

The unfortunate and sobering reality is that Black men and women are under perpetual fear of having their life taken from them at any given moment while engaging with police officers. In a country where the phrase, “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” epitomizes “unalienable rights,” Jacob Blake is another prime example, in a succession of individuals, that the promises of this nation ring hollow for too many to be meritorious. 

At this moment, the work of the American people is clear and unquestionable; we must continue to fight, organize, and mobilize against police brutality, and state-sanctioned killings at the hands of law enforcement. While the visions of Jacob Blake, Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and countless others play over and over in our minds, we must not grow weary until we’ve achieved police liability and substantive change is realized. If there was ever a time for us to unite against a common threat to the existence of Black people, it is now.”

Our thoughts and prayers are with Jacob Blake, his family, and friends, as he continues to fight for his life and to return to his children.