Jacob Blake, the African-American black man shot in the back multiple times by a police officer in Wisconsin, has broken his silence and called on his supporters to value their lives.
He also said “it hurts to breathe” and that he was in constant pain in a video message from his hospital bed.
Despite his injuries, which will likely leave him paralysed from the waist down, Mr Blake told his supporters “there’s a lot more life to live”.
“Your life, and not only just your life, your legs – something that you need to move around and forward in life – can be taken from you like this, man,” Mr Blake said, snapping his fingers, in the video released Saturday by his lawyer Ben Crump.
Wearing a hospital gown, Mr Blake said he had staples in his back and stomach.
“Twenty-four hours, every 24 hours it’s pain, it’s nothing but pain,” he said. “It hurts to breathe, it hurts to sleep, it hurts to move from side-to-side, it hurts to eat,” he said in the video, which has more than 400,000 views on Twitter.
“Please, I’m telling you, change your lives out there. We can stick together, make some money, make everything easier for our people out there, man, because there’s so much time that’s been wasted.”
The 29-year-old was gravely wounded when a police officer fired seven or eight shots at him as he tried to get into his car on August 23 in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Three of his children were in the car at the time.
The scene was filmed by bystanders and the two police officers who were trying to stop or arrest Mr Blake have been suspended.
Coming three months after the death of George Floyd, Mr Blake’s shooting has sparked a new round of demonstrations in several cities.
Protests in Kenosha began peacefully the night Mr Blake was shot, but descended into violence for several nights running.