Campaign 2020: Biden meets privately with Jacob Blake family in Wisconsin

Joe Biden is meeting with the family of Jacob Blake, the Black man who was shot seven times in the back by a white police officer late last month in Kenosha, Wisconsin.

Biden’s presidential campaign said he is meeting with Blake’s father and mother, his siblings, and a few members of his legal team at the Milwaukee airport where he landed Thursday afternoon. Blake himself remains hospitalized.

Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden, and his wife Jill Biden walk to board a plane at New Castle Airport, in New Castle, Del., Thursday, Sept. 3, 2020, en route to Kenosha, Wis. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Blake’s shooting set off weeks of protests in Kenosha, Wisconsin that have at times erupted in violence. Those protests have made Kenosha the epicenter of a renewed political debate over systemic racism and violent protesters.

Biden is visiting the city later Thursday to hold a discussion with business figures, civic leaders and law enforcement officials.

President Donald Trump visited the city earlier this week, but didn’t meet with Blake’s family. The president focused on thanking members of law enforcement for their handling of the violence that broke out after Blake’s shooting.

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Democrat presidential nominee Joe Biden has arrived in Wisconsin, where he’ll meet with relatives of Jacob Blake and hold a discussion with business figures, civic leaders and law enforcement officials.

Blake is the Black man who was shot seven times in the back on Aug. 23 by a white police officer as authorities tried to arrest Blake. He remains hospitalized.

Biden’s trip comes two days after President Donald Trump visited Kenosha. Trump didn’t meet with Blake’s family. The president focused on thanking members of law enforcement for their handling of the violence that broke out after Blake’s shooting.

It’s Biden’s first campaign stop in Wisconsin in nearly two years. It’s also the first time since 2012 that a Democratic presidential candidate campaigned in the pivotal state.

In 2016, Hillary Clinton skipped the state. Trump ended up winning Wisconsin by less than than 23,000 votes as he became the first Republican to win Wisconsin since Ronald Reagan in 1988.

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Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul says he thinks former Vice President Joe Biden can help heal Kenosha, Wisconsin in ways that President Donald Trump’s stop in the city did not.

The Democratic presidential candidate is expected to meet with the family of Jacob Blake, the Black man who was shot seven times in the back on Aug. 23 by a white police officer as authorities tried to arrest Blake. He remains hospitalized.

Before Trump’s visit to the southeastern Wisconsin earlier this week, Kaul accused the president of wanting to “benefit from chaos and violence happening during this administration.”

The Democrat Kaul says Biden’s visit Thursday provides an opportunity to “help heal the community, to bring people together, to support people who are protesting peacefully and calling for the change they want to see.” He says Trump was not interested in that when he met with law enforcement officials and business owners affected by the violence.

Trump did not meet with members of Jacob Blake’s family. Trump has also not publicly condemned 17-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse, charged with fatally shooting two demonstrators last week. Trump implied that Rittenhouse only shot the men after he tripped and they attacked him, even though the first fatal shooting happened before Rittenhouse ran away and fell.

Kaul says, “When you make excuses for people who are involved in that kind of violence, whether it’s vigilante violence or white supremacist violence or any other kind of violence or destruction, we need clear condemnations of that from our leaders.”

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