Jazz's Donovan Mitchell on Jacob Blake Shooting: 'When Do We Feel Safe?'

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistAugust 26, 2020

Utah Jazz's Donovan Mitchell (45) moves the ball up court against the Denver Nuggets during the first half of an NBA basketball first round playoff game Friday, Aug. 21, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis, Pool)
Ashley Landis/Associated Press

Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell addressed the police shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin, after Tuesday's 117-107 loss to the Denver Nuggets, wondering when Black people will feel safe in the United States.

"There are ... a lot of times where we say we don't feel safe. It doesn't matter how much money, it doesn't matter who you are ... it's inexcusable to see stuff like that," Mitchell said. "... The common excuse is 'oh, you shouldn't have walked away, you shouldn't have not listened to the cops.' That doesn't deserve you to be shot in the back. Or, excuse me, shot seven times. That's just inexcusable.

"I think that's really what we should focus on, we need to focus on, because the point of us coming down here was to create change, and I feel like we're doing a good job of that, but obviously not good enough. It's obviously not going to happen overnight, but it's disgusting. I really don't know how else to describe it as an African American male. I have my sister and my mom and my dad and my friends and family, when does it stop? When do we feel comfortable? When do we feel safe? I'm not saying don't arrest the guy because he's a criminal, but he doesn't deserve to be shot point-blank grabbing his shirt seven times."


“When does it stop? When do we feel comfortable? When do we feel safe?” @spidadmitchell comments on the police shooting of Jacob Blake in Wisconsin. https://t.co/hjMmPXX2tb

A police officer shot at Blake seven times (hitting him four times) on Aug. 23 after responding to a domestic disturbance call. A dispatcher told the responding officers that Blake took someone's keys and was refusing to leave the residence. Attorney Benjamin Crump, who is representing the Blake family, told CBS News that Blake was trying to de-escalate a fight.

Crump said that when police arrived on the scene, they tasered Blake. Afterward, when Blake approached his car and opened the driverside door, at least one officer fired seven shots at Blake in front of his three children, who were in the vehicle. Crump says Blake was trying to check on his children when the shots were fired.

"While we do not have all of the details yet, what we know for certain is that he is not the first Black man or person to have been shot or injured or mercilessly killed at the hands of individuals in law enforcement in our state or our country," Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers said in a statement.

Protests have broken out in the city of Kenosha as Blake remains hospitalized. Crump says Blake is paralyzed from the waist down and will likely never walk again.