(The Center Square) – Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden visited Kenosha on Thursday, where he met with Jacob Blake’s family and held a small community listening session. Blake is the Black man shot in the back after resisting arrest by Kenosha Police on Aug. 23.
Biden told a small crowd at the listening session at a Kenosha church that Blake’s shooting has brought America to a turning point.
“I think we’ve reached a reflection point in American history,” Biden said in an often winding response to questions. “I honest to God believe we have an enormous opportunity, know that the curtain has been pulled back on just what’s going on in the country.”
Biden didn’t talk much about the specifics of Blake’s shooting at the community listening session, or what he thinks should be done with the “opportunity.” He focused, instead, on his standard stump speech of taxes, healthcare, and opposing President Donald Trump.
Prior to Biden’s speech, Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers said he didn’t want Biden in Kenosha.
“I would prefer that no one be here, whether it be candidate Trump or candidate Biden,” Evers told reporters Thursday afternoon.
Earlier in the week, Evers sent Trump a letter asking that the president not come to Kenosha and “interrupt” the city’s healing. The president came anyway.
On Thursday, reporters pressed the governor about Biden’s visit. Evers said he didn’t send the same letter to Biden.
“I didn’t know he was coming until very late,” Evers said. “He was either in the air or not. So to say ‘Hey, turn this plane around. Or jump on your plane and go home,’ That wasn’t the case. I told him what my position was, and it is what it is.”
Evers denied being hypocritical in his different approaches to Trump and Biden. The governor has endorsed Biden in the race for president.
Biden did take the opportunity to meet with Blake’s family.
Jacob Blake’s family attorney, Benjamin Crump, on Thursday said their meeting with Biden was productive.
Five of Blake’s family members, including his mother and father, met with Biden. So did three lawyers.
“The family was grateful for the meeting and was very impressed that the Bidens were so engaged and willing to really listen,” Crump said in a statement.
He added: “They talked about changing the disparate treatment of minorities in police interactions, the impact of selecting Kamala Harris as a Black woman as his running mate, and Vice President Biden’s plans for change.”
Benjamin Yount reports on Illinois and Wisconsin statewide issues for The Center Square. Reposted with permission.