Jacob Blake has spoken out for the first time since his shooting last month, asking his supporters to make a change for the better. His message came amid the massive protests against racial injustice and police violence across U.S. cities in recent weeks.

Jacob Blake was the 29-year-old Black man shot seven times in the back by a white police officer in Wisconsin on Aug. 23. The incident reignited protests over racism and police brutality that swept the U.S. after George Floyd died in Minneapolis in May.

In a video posted on Twitter, Blake, still in his hospital bed, described his pain after the shooting that had left him paralyzed from the waist down. “I got staples in my back, staples in my damn stomach,” he said. “It hurts to breathe, it hurts to sleep, it hurts to move from side to side, it hurts to eat,” he added.

Blake also warned his supporters that life could change in an instant and asked them to change for the better. “Your life and not only just your life, your legs—something that you need to move around, to move forward in life—can be taken like this, man,” he said. “Please I’m telling you change your lives out there. We can stick together, make some money, make everything easier for our people.”

The demonstrations following Blake’s shooting coincide with the widespread protests over the social and economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has claimed 190,000 lives in the U.S. since January. The protests have come to the forefront of the U.S. presidential election campaign, with law and order now at the core of Donald Trump’s platform.

Over the weekend, some 2,000 protesters flooded the streets of Rochester, New York to cry justice for the death of Daniel Prude, the Black Man who was killed during an encounter with police in March. Rochester police used tear gas to disperse the protesters, leaving nine people arrested and three police officers injured.

Clashes between protesters and the police also rocked Portland, Oregon on Sunday night as authorities used tear gas to attack demonstrators throwing rocks and firing bombs. The unrest left one injured and led to the arrest of 50.

Jacob Blake Protest People gather in front of the Kenosha County Court House to protest against the police shooting of Jacob Blake on August 24, 2020 in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images