Jacob’s first born son, Jacob Jr. bravely took the stand today, he was only in 2nd grade when he lost his father and now at 12 years old, he was in the same room with the officer who killed him.
Jacob Jr. describes how he remembers his father
From the stand, Jacob Jr. introduced his younger siblings, both 9, who were in court for the first time and sitting at the plaintiff’s table next to their mother. Jacob Jr. talked about what he admired in his father: his self confidence, that he was a hardworker who went to work everyday. Jacob was also an assistant coach on Jacob Jr.’s T-ball team. He recalled the fond memories he has of his father - celebrating one of his birthdays at the San Diego Zoo and Sea World, many camping trips and even catching a frog.
When Mr. Crowley asks Jacob to describe how his father felt about school, Jacob begins, “He always pushed me and my siblings to get a good education, to go to school and be somebody...” then he breaks down and his grandmother who is seated near him outside the witness stand consoles him. The judge asks for a 15 minute break.
Back from break Jacob Jr. talks about when Jessica began nursing school Jacob would take the kids to and from school and daycare and the typical things they would do together. Jacob Jr. shared that his dad always made sure his homework was done before they did anything else. A lot of times they would take snacks from the kitchen, without telling mom, and eat them while they watched super hero movies on the couch. They’d go into the yard and play catch or walk to the nearby park.
Jacob Jr. said his dad showed his mom a lot of respect. Even the people he didn’t like he showed respect to added Jacob Jr. Most Thursday nights the family attended church together.
Jacob Jr. listed the five highest things his dad taught him: Discipline, determination, always to be respectful of elders, young people; to finish school and get a good education and get a good job to be somebody; and play sports.
Life after Jacob Sr. was killed
Mr. Crawley asked Jacob how life was now that his dad is gone. “It’s different and difficult,” Jacob said choked up with tears, “we can’t do those things that we once used to do and because of this incident my dad is not here.” Pushing through the tears, the courtroom felt the child’s restrained emotion, Jacob Jr. repeated, “It’s very different because of one somebody.” The pews were in audible sobs, his aunts, uncles, cousins and family were all there supporting him. The parents and partners of other loved ones killed by SJPD were also sitting in the pews, maybe seeing their own pain in what Jacob Jr. was moving through.
Jacob Jr. didn’t learn the whole story about his father’s death until he was older and when his mom told him it was “like a whole piece of my heart was taken out” and the whole family felt the same way.
Jacob Jr. continued to say he would commit to the teachings his father gave him. “I’m going to do it for him, all because of him I’m going to become somebody.” He wants to be a California senator when he grows up to change laws.
Before he leaves the stand Jacob Jr. says, “Thank you for your time.” He hugs his grandma and the judge orders Mr. Crowley to quickly usher them and Jacob Jr.’s siblings out of the courtroom.