America Divided: Jacob Blake court decision is another point of division in an already divided nation


Photo by Creative Commons

Protesters flock the streets in US cities following the Jacob Blake’s court decision.

David Oluwole, Senior Sports Editor

The year 2020 was a tumultuous journey of unrest and injustice. Whether speaking on the murder of George Floyd or Breonna Taylor, it is apparent that people of color in the United States are not treated equally. This belief has been further solidified through the sentencing of the officers involved in the shooting of Jacob Blake, or rather the lack thereof.

Jacob Blake is a 29-year-old male who lives in Kenosha, Wisconsin. He was allegedly stopping a fight when he was confronted by the police. He was questioned by the officers, then resisted arrest leading the officers to tase him. The officers also said that Jacob Blake admitted to having a knife in his car. Ultimately, when walking back to his car, the officers proceeded to shoot him not once, but seven times in his back. 

The officers involved in this incident claimed they were in fear for their lives, yet seven shots were fired with Blake’s back turned away. Resisting any arrest is against the law, but this incident highlights the reoccurring issue of police overusing their power. It is now common for people to fear for their lives around law enforcement, even if they haven’t committed a crime.

The officers involved in the shooting were not charged. The Kenosha County district attorney, Michael Graveley, stated that the officers had a strong case for self-defense due to the fact that Blake was near a knife when he was shot. Graveley also said the officer’s only option was to arrest Blake, due to children being in the back of the car. He also stated that once officers found out that Blake had an arrest warrant out, arresting Blake became a priority. Regarding the seven shots fired by officers, Graveley stated that the defense attorney has a strong argument indicating that the actions were things he learned in training.

The decision regarding the officers was a sad moment in countless households across the country. Moments like these make people question how protected minorities are in this country.  Many people within the community of Lake Forest Academy felt directly impacted by the lack of action. When asked, junior Akindele Aboyade stated his strong feelings towards the situation “I feel appalled by how corrupt the system is, it’s sad and demoralizing how people are afraid of the police when they are supposed to protect us.”

Division among opinions in the United States has become a growing issue, with both sides struggling to find any kind of unity. If one side feels unheard and hopeless,  the other fails to empathize and understand what is felt by people other than themselves.

The importance of listening to other’s perspectives could help ease the divide in America. Even if the other perspective goes against your beliefs, the only way to find common ground is to listen.  If people are able to understand the point of view of many African Americans and discuss issues such as police overusing their authority, it is possible that there could be more unity.