Jacob Blake, the man who was shot and seriously wounded by a Kenosha police officer at close range, was handcuffed to his hospital bed by authorities, the Kenosha County sheriff has confirmed.
The governor says Blake, 29, was shot “in the back multiple times” by a Kenosha police officer. Blake’s father says he’s paralyzed, and it will be a miracle if he walks again.
His attorney later said the handcuffs were removed.
“Jacob Blake has felony warrants for his arrest from crimes he committed prior to the shooting incident. Anyone with this classification level that we are guarding in the hospital would be treated in this manner,” Kenosha County Sheriff’s Department spokesman Sgt. David Wright told CBS Chicago, which reported that, at the time of the shooting, “Blake was wanted on an arrest warrant for trespassing, domestic abuse, sexual abuse, and disorderly conduct.”
In a news conference, Jacob Blake Sr. 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.” Blake’s injuries are severe and include a severed spinal cord and broken vertebrae, according to the family lawyer, speaking at the press conference.
The two officers seen in the video are on leave. The Wisconsin Department of Justice is investigating. A GoFundMe page to help Blake has raised more than $2 million.
“I hate it that he was laying in that bed with the handcuff onto the bed,” his father told the Chicago Sun-Times. “He can’t go anywhere. Why do you have him cuffed to the bed?”
Asked why Blake was handcuffed, the father replied “he’s under arrest.”
Here’s what you need to know:
A Graphic Video Shows the Shooting Happened at Very Close Range; His Family’s Attorney Says Blake Was Trying to ‘Deescalate a Domestic Situation’ But Authorities Say He Had a Knife
⚠️Warning Police Violence ⚠️
I’ve never seen such a casual street execution…
They shot another Black Man 7 times in the back.
Kenosha #Wisconsin. He is in critical condition.
— Terrence Daniels (Captain 🍀 Planet) (@Terrence_STR) August 24, 2020
A news release from the Wisconsin Department of Justice says that, “While holding onto Mr. Blake’s shirt, Officer Rusten Sheskey fired his service weapon seven times. Officer Sheskey fired the weapon into Mr. Blake’s back. No other officer fired their weapon. Kenosha Police Department does not have body cameras, therefore the officers were not wearing body cameras.”
Sheskey has been an officer for seven years with the Kenosha PD. During the investigation, “Mr. Blake admitted that he had a knife in his possession. DCI agents recovered a knife from the driver’s side floorboard of Blake’s vehicle. There were no other weapons recovered,” the DOJ reported. The DCI (Department of Criminal Investigation with the Wisconsin Department of Justice) is continuing to review the case.
The video shows three officers standing with Blake before he walks away from them. Then, an officer with a gun drawn follows Blake to the driver’s side of his car. There are multiple people in the area. A second officer is right behind Blake. Blake, who is Black, gets in the car. The officer, who appears to be white, at least from a distance, then appears to shoot multiple times into the door at Blake’s back. According to the Associated Press, a man named Raysean White recorded the video on his cell phone.
Wow. This Black man was shot several times in the back by @KenoshaPolice today. He was getting into his car after apparently breaking up a fight between two women. He’s in critical condition now. We demand JUSTICE! #BlackLivesMatter pic.twitter.com/I1reDEp4nw
— Ben Crump (@AttorneyCrump) August 24, 2020
A man who took one of the videos told WISN-TV that officers were yelling at Blake to drop a knife but he didn’t see one and felt Blake wasn’t aggressive. “He wasn’t aggressive,” the man said to the television station. “The police might say he was resisting arrest but he wasn’t attacking the police. They were telling him to drop the knife. I didn’t see a knife in his hand. He wasn’t coming at them with a knife. And they shot him in the back as they were pulling on his shirt. I don’t understand that.”
Here’s a video from another vantage point. A woman named Chyna Smith posted it on Facebook and wrote, “He was just bbq for his son bday they shot an unarmed black man in front of his sons.”
The officer who fires appears to be grabbing Blake’s white shirt while firing, and it doesn’t look like Blake turned to face the officer. A second officer has his gun drawn.
“It is outrageous. Who was he threatening?” Blake’s uncle, Justin Blake, told CNN. “He had a tank top and shorts on. He had no weapon. He was going back to the car because the children needed to be checked on.”
Blake Does Have an Open Warrant
According to Wisconsin Circuit Court Access online records, a Jacob S. Blake, same age and with an address in the same block where the shooting occurred, had a warrant issued for him on July 7 on pending accusations of misdemeanor criminal trespass to a dwelling with domestic abuse as a modifier; felony third-degree sexual assault with domestic abuse as a modifier; and misdemeanor disorderly conduct with domestic abuse as a modifier. A support action was dismissed, and the only other case that comes up is for not having a driver’s license.
You can read the criminal complaint in the May 2020 case above here. The mother of some of Blake’s children accused him of digitally penetrating her without her consent. “LNB stated she and the defendant have three children together but have never resided together in the eight years they have been on and off. LNB stated the defendant is unemployed, has no vehicle, and would not tell LNB where he was currently living. LNB stated over the past eight years the defendant has physically assaulted her around twice a year when he drinks heavily,” the complaint says.
A 2015 story in Racine Eye described another case. It says how “Racine police say K9 Dozer had to help officers take a man into custody when the man refused to go quietly into custody after he pulled a gun at a local bar.” The man was described as Jacob Blake, 24, of Racine, which makes him the same age as the man shot by police on August 23. The Racine Eye story said he was charged with “one felony count of resisting arrest causing a soft tissue injury to a police officer and one misdemeanor count each of carrying a concealed weapon, carrying a firearm while intoxicated, endangering safety-use of a dangerous weapon, and disorderly conduct.” Those charges don’t show up on the circuit court website though.
That story further alleged, “Blake and two women were at the Brass Monkey tavern, 1436 Junction Avenue, Saturday when Blake got into an argument with another patron and pulled a black handgun. Blake pointed the gun at the other man, and the magazine fell to the floor. The bartender told Blake to leave, and he did but then pointed the gun through the window at patrons inside the bar before walking south on Junction Avenue.”
Police stopped Blake in a “high risk traffic stop” but he “exited the SUV and started walking toward officers and ignored commands to get down on the ground,” the story said. That’s when officers forced him to the ground and used a K9 when he kept resisting, the story added.
Blake’s Facebook cover photo shows officers in a squad car appearing to wear pig and devil masks.