(CBS Local)– On August 23, Jacob Blake’s life changed forever when he was shot by police in Kenosha, Wisconsin seven times. Blake is now paralyzed from the waist down and his shooting ignited protests all over the country. CBS News correspondent Wesley Lowery recently had the opportunity to travel to Kenosha to interview Blake’s family about everything going on and Raysean White, the Chicago native who uploaded the video that went viral on social media.
Lowery’s report was for”60 in 6″ by CBS News on Quibi, the short-form, digital version of “60 Minutes.”
Lowery went to Minnesota a few months ago to speak with George Floyd’s family and cover the protests that ensued in the Twin Cities and says he saw the viral video of Blake being shot shortly after it was posted to social media.
“I remember seeing the viral video pretty quickly and you could tell from the video this was going to be something that people were upset about,” said Lowery in an interview with CBS Local’s DJ Sixsmith. “That night I watched the reactions in Kenosha, Wisconsin, the protests and the clash with police. It was clear that there was a big story on the horizon. All this was playing out with the backdrop of a big March on Washington that was happening. George Floyd’s family and Reverend Al Sharpton were doing a big march for the anniversary of The March On Washington around these issues and this is now the week leading into that. We have another city, another hashtag, another video. The team got on an airplane to Wisconsin and spent some time on the ground.”
Lowery has spent a lot of times in cities with protests recently and says each city is a little bit different. The CBS News correspondent believes the socioeconomic and racial components in Kenosha’s history play a big part in the story around Blake’s shooting.
“It’s one of those towns that used to be a big auto manufacturing town and all of those factories closed down,” said Lowery. “You get a lot of people who are trapped in relative poverty. It’s a primarily white area, with a significant minority population and with significant income disparities. Those dynamics start to play out in a way that look different than a Baltimore or Ferguson or Los Angeles. In each city, things are a little bit different. When we first got on the ground there, the first person we wanted to go after was Raysean White. He was the witness and the 22-year-old man who took the video of Jacob Blake being shot. Having done so many of these stories, I’m always interested in looking at the people who are caught up in it. He’s not a participant and this had nothing to do with him. He’s a guy who sticks his head out the window, sees something happening and hits record. Suddenly he’s thrust into it and we did one of his first, if not his first on-camera interview discussing why he recorded that video.”
Lowery’s interview with White also addresses how his life has changed after posting the video of Blake being shot. White is originally from Chicago and split his time as a kid between Kenosha and Chicago because his father lived in Wisconsin. White was in the apartment he shares with his girlfriend directly across the street from where Blake was shot.
“He didn’t really know Jacob Blake, but he would see him outside because this is a residential neighborhood,” said Lowery. “He’d see Jacob out there grilling or in and out talking to folks. For him, this has been really difficult and really tough. He feels a responsibility when he sees the protests and sees businesses being burned down and the shootings that have happened since with Kyle Rittenhouse coming in an shooting three of the protests and killing two of them. Raysean is sitting in his house watching all of this and thinking in the back of his head, what if I had never uploaded the video. He has this fight internally about whether or not he did the right thing, if he did was he was supposed to, or if he should’ve done something else. It is really interesting and fascinating to see the toll being involved in these cases can take on someone.”
Watch “60 in 6” on Quibi.