PODCAST: Jacob Blake Left Paralyzed From Police Shooting (BCNN1 8.26.20)

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According to The Associated Press, Jacob Blake, the Black man shot multiple times by police in Wisconsin, is paralyzed, and it would “take a miracle” for him to walk again, his family’s attorney said Tuesday, while calling for the officer who opened fire to be arrested and others involved to lose their jobs. The shooting of Blake on Sunday in Kenosha — apparently in the back while three of his children looked on — was captured on cellphone video and ignited new protests over racial injustice in several cities, some of which have devolved into unrest. It came just three months after the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police touched off a wider reckoning on race. Blake’s father, who is also named Jacob Blake, said, “They shot my son seven times, seven times, like he didn’t matter. But my son matters. He’s a human being and he matters.” The 29-year-old was in surgery, said attorney Ben Crump, adding that the bullets severed Blake’s spinal cord and shattered his vertebrae. Another attorney said there was also severe damage to organs. “It’s going to take a miracle for Jacob Blake Jr. to ever walk again,” Crump said.

According to the Christian Post, Lawyers for megachurch pastor John Gray said Monday that he is being blackmailed and extorted after the leader of Relentless Church in South Carolina was accused of engaging in another inappropriate relationship. Attorney Devon Puriefoy of the law firm Truluck Thomason told Greenville News, “There are allegations that there were phone conversations between the two parties, and that’s essentially the extent of the allegations. When you take her own words, she says there was no affair, no physical contact, they never met each other, they never saw each other.” The latest allegation against Gray came last Friday from a 48-year-old Houston woman who identified herself as “Mary” during an interview with online personality Tasha K, which was broadcast on YouTube. The Houston woman said during her interactions with Gray, she sent him partially nude photos at his requests and he video-chatted with her while revealing his underwear. She claimed that he also met with her in Houston and he invited her to visit his home and she declined because she feels he may have wanted to sleep with her. Despite Mary’s claims, however, Puriefoy told Greenville News that there is evidence of extortion in the case and it will be handed to the Greenville County Solicitor’s Office and the Greenville office of the FBI to be investigated.

According to the Christian Post, Since he wasn’t formally accused of or admitted to any wrongdoing, former Liberty University President Jerry Falwell Jr. said he will walk away with a severance package totaling $10.5 million after his resignation Monday night in the wake of a sex scandal. Falwell told The Washington Post that he’ll get $2.5 million over the next 24 months plus another $8 million after that period in retirement benefits per a contract he signed with Liberty University in July 2019. “The board was gracious not to challenge that,” Falwell explained. “There wasn’t any cause. I haven’t done anything.” The Board of Trustees of Liberty University, one of the largest evangelical Christian universities in the world, announced Tuesday that they had accepted Falwell’s resignation “effective immediately” after he and his wife, Rebecca, were implicated in a sex scandal Monday. The resignation comes after a tumultuous weekend for Falwell, during which it was first revealed on Sunday that his wife had an affair with former “pool boy” Giancarlo Granda, 29, which began eight years ago. Granda allegedly later attempted to blackmail the couple. Falwell said he was shocked to learn about his wife’s affair, but Granda contradicted that claim Monday when he said he had engaged in the affair with Falwell’s knowledge and provided audio he said is evidence supporting his claim.

According to Religion News Service, Over the years, throngs of protesters — many of them people of faith — have assembled to remember the March on Washington. This year, the gatherings will both resemble and differ from the first one on Aug. 28, 1963. While there will be renewed speeches for racial justice, more participants will be watching on distant screens Friday than listening in person. Speakers and listeners will be particularly focused on reducing police brutality and protecting and mobilizing voters for the upcoming election. As groups from Al Sharpton’s National Action Network to the NAACP to the Movement for Black Lives finalize their plans, some religious leaders may take in all three organizations’ events. Sharpton’s organization is moving ahead with Friday plans for the Commitment March to feature the families of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Eric Garner — all of whom were killed in police-related incidents — along with attorney Benjamin Crump, Martin Luther King III, clergy and other civil rights activists. For those who gather in person amid the coronavirus pandemic, mask wearing and thermometer checks will be enforced, Sharpton’s group said in a Monday statement about the event, which is also called the “Get Your Knee Off Our Necks” march.

According to Insider, The mother of Jacob Blake, the Black man shot at least seven times in the back by Wisconsin police, delivered a powerful speech to reporters Tuesday, in which she called for healing and asked people to pray for her seriously injured son. Julia Jackson said, “Citizens, police officers, firemen, clergy, politicians, do Jacob justice on this level and examine your hearts. We need healing. As I pray for my son’s healing physically and emotionally and spiritually, I also have been praying, even before this healing, of our country.” Videos posted of the altercation between Blake and Kenosha, Wisconsin, law enforcement Sunday showed Blake walking away from two officers. In one video, an officer can be seen pointing a gun directly at Blake while extending his arm to grab Blake’s T-shirt from behind. Seconds later, Blake appeared to attempt to get into his car when the officers begin to shoot, firing seven consecutive rounds while Blake had his back turned to them. It is still unclear what happened in the minutes before the altercation began. Both officers involved in the incident are on administrative leave, according to various news reports, but neither has yet been identified by authorities. Protests against police brutality have erupted in Wisconsin following the shooting. In some cases, demonstrators set fire to cars and buildings, while police officers deployed tear gas and rubber bullets. Blake remains in the hospital, where he’s been undergoing numerous surgeries, his family attorney Ben Crump told reporters Tuesday. Citing what she believed would be Blake’s feelings about the protests, Jackson in her speech, characterized by powerful emotions and eliciting at times stunning silence from the crowd of reporters who listened on, called for the nation to begin a healing process. “We are the United States. Have we been united?” she asked. “To all of the police officers, I’m praying for you and your families. To all of the citizens, my Black and brown sisters and brothers, I’m praying for you. I believe you are an intelligent being just like the rest of us. Everybody, let’s use our hearts, our love, and our intelligence to work together to show the rest of the world how humans are supposed to treat each other. America is great when we behave greatly.”

According to Religion News Service, Leawood Baptist Church has confirmed that its pastor’s wife, who had been missing for more than two weeks, was found dead earlier this week in rural Arkansas. That comes after Marilane Carter’s vehicle was found Tuesday (Aug. 18) in an empty storage container on private property in West Memphis, Arkansas, with a woman’s body inside. The Crittenden County Sheriff’s Office announced Friday (Aug. 21) that the Arkansas State Medical Examiners Office has confirmed the body belonged to Carter and ruled her death as a suicide, according to local news reports. “The family asks for your thoughts and prayers right now and in the upcoming days,” reads Find Marilane, a website sharing information about Carter’s disappearance.

According to The Associated Press, All three NBA playoff games scheduled for Wednesday have been postponed, with players around the league choosing to boycott in their strongest statement yet against racial injustice. Called off: Games between Milwaukee and Orlando, Houston and Oklahoma City and the Los Angeles Lakers and Portland. The NBA said all three games would be rescheduled, yet did not say when. The dramatic series of moves began when the Bucks — the NBA’s team from Wisconsin, a state rocked in recent days by the shooting by police of Jacob Blake, a Black man — didn’t take the floor for their playoff game against the Magic. The teams were set to begin Game 5 of their series shortly after 4 p.m., with the Bucks needing a win to advance to the second round. Players had been discussing boycotting games in the bubble after the shooting of Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin. More discussions among players on teams still in the bubble were scheduled Wednesday, presumably on how — or if — to go forward with the season, but even before that the Bucks apparently decided they would act. “Some things are bigger than basketball,” Bucks senior vice president Alex Lasry tweeted. “The stand taken today by the players and (the organization) shows that we’re fed up. Enough is enough. Change needs to happen. I’m incredibly proud of our guys and we stand 100% behind our players ready to assist and bring about real change.”

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In closing, remember, God loves you. He always has and He always will. John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” If you don’t know Jesus as your Saviour, today is a good day to get to know Him. Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died, was buried, and rose from the dead for you. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart and He will. Romans 10:13 says, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

Thanks so much for listening and may God bless your day!