BY: AVERI HARPER
(MINNEAPOLIS) — California Sen. Kamala Harris is on the ground in Wisconsin Monday for her first campaign trip since accepting the Democratic vice presidential nomination — as Labor Day marks the start of the home stretch for the 2020 presidential campaign season.
Shortly after landing in Milwaukee, Harris met with the family and legal team of Jacob Blake, a 29-year-old Black man who was shot in Kenosha in front of three of his children last month and remains hospitalized.
The meeting, which took place at a private airport in Milwaukee, included Blake’s father, two sisters and members of his legal team. Blake, his mother and family attorney Benjamin Crump joined by phone, according to a list of attendees released by the campaign.
Harris called the meeting “really wonderful” when answering a shouted question from a reporter while on a tour of an International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) training facility in Wauwatosa, a city five miles west of Milwaukee, later on Monday.
Ahead of a roundtable with Black Milwaukee business leaders in the late afternoon, Harris took the moment to share some details of her meeting with Blake and his family.
“I mean, they’re an incredible family and what they’ve endured and they just do it with such dignity and grace, and you know. They’re carrying the weight of a lot of voices on their shoulders,” she said.
She said she expressed concern for the family’s well-being and that the meeting was “to let them know that they have support.”
Crump called the visit “inspirational” and “uplifting” and said Harris discussed policy changes she would seek if she and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden were elected, including the Justice in Policing Act and implicit bias training for law enforcement.
“In a moving moment, Jacob Jr. told Sen. Harris that he was proud of her, and the senator told Jacob that she was also proud of him and how he is working through his pain. Jacob Jr. assured her that he would not give up on life for the sake of his children,” Crump said in a statement following the meeting. “She encouraged them to continue to use their voices even through their pain to help America make progress to end systematic racism.”
Biden last week also met with Blake’s family and legal team.
In one of his most aggressive campaign trips in months, Biden last Thursday visited with Blake’s family in Milwaukee — with Blake joining by phone — and met with community leaders in Kenosha.
The White House also sees Wisconsin, a state President Donald Trump narrowly won in 2016, as a pivotal prize in November. Vice President Mike Pence is also in the state Monday to tour an energy facility and deliver remarks in La Crosse.
Trump visited Wisconsin last Tuesday where he met with business leaders and local law enforcement. He didn’t mention Blake’s name in his remarks.
The president has previously spoken by phone to Blake’s mother’s pastor and called theirs “a great talk,” but said he hasn’t connected with the Blake family directly because they want lawyers to listen in on the conversation, which he has said would be “inappropriate.”
ABC News’ Sabina Ghebremedhin and Libby Cathey contributed to this report.
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