In video shot from his hospital bed Jacob Blake says he’s felt ‘nothing but pain’ since he was shot by a Kenosha officer
Blake, 29, on Saturday released a video message from hospital stating that he was in constant pain after being shot by police
Kenosha police officer Rusten Sheskey grabbed Blake’s shirt from behind and fired seven shots as he tried to get into his SUV, leaving him paralyzed
In his video Blake urged people to ‘change your lives’ after being paralyzed from waist down
‘Stick together, make some money, make everything easier for our people’, Blake admonishes youth
Blake’s shooting has sparked on-going protests in Wisconsin and nationwide, becoming part of the presidential campaigns
Police shooting victim, Jacob Blake has released his first public statement after being shot in the back by a cop in Kenosha, Wisconsin, leaving him paralyzed from the waist down.
Blake, 29, spoke out from his hospital bed in a video message released on Saturday by his attorney Ben Crump.
‘I just want to say, man – a lot of young cats out there and even the older ones, older than me, it’s a lot more life to live out here man,’ Blake said in the video.
‘Your life, and not only just your life, your legs, something you need to move around and forward in life, can be taken from you like this, man,’ he said, snapping his fingers. Jacob Blake speaks out for the first time from his hospital bed.
‘And I promise you the type of s**t you go through, staples, I got staples in my back, staples in my damn stomach, you do not want to deal with this s**t, man. Twenty-four hours, every twenty-four hours it’s pain, nothing but pain,’ Blake continued.
‘It hurts to breathe, it hurts to sleep, it hurts to move from side-to-side, it hurts to eat. Please, I’m telling you, change your lives. Stick together, make some money, make everything easier for our people out there, man, because there’s so much time that’s been wasted,’ Blake said.
It is his first statement to the public since he was shot on August 23 by police responding to a domestic complaint 911 call, as he opened the door to a vehicle and leaned inside.
However, Blake also appeared in court via a Zoom call on Friday where he plead not guilty to charges of criminal trespass, sexual assault, and disorderly conduct.
The shooting of Blake has kicked off weeks of tense, and sometimes violent, protests in Kenosha, and renewed protests over racial injustice and police conduct nationwide.
Police responded to a 911 from a former girlfriend of Blake, who said that he was not permitted on her premises, and had taken her car keys and refused to give them back.
Responding officers were notified that Blake had an active arrest warrant, based on charges of third-degree sexual assault filed by the former girlfriend.
Police had deployed tasers on Blake, which seemingly had no effect, and were seen on bystader video physically grappling with him.
Then, Kenosha police officer Rusten Sheskey fired seven times, striking Blake four times, as Blake opened the door to an SUV and reached inside.
Prosecutors say that a knife was recovered on the driver-side front floorboard of the car, where Blake was leaning, sparking debate over whether he was holding or reaching for the knife.
US Attorney General Bill Barr said this week that Blake was was committing a felony and armed at the time he was shot.
Lawyers for the Blake family Ben Crump, Patrick Salvi, and B’Ivory Lamarr released a statement disputing Barr’s account.
‘Attorney General Barr is misinformed. The police officers were the aggressors from start to finish, based on video and witness accounts,’ they said.
‘There was never any point in time when there was justification for deadly force. In fact, there were innocent bystanders in the line of fire when he shot seven times into Jacob’s back,’ they continued.
‘At all material times, Jacob’s back was to the officers and he never posed an imminent threat. This was never a life or death situation for the officers.’
Dramatic video of the shooting shows Sheskey and another officer following Blake with guns drawn when the shooting occurs. In the video, a knife cannot be seen in Blake’s hand, which disappears from view as he reaches into the vehicle.
Neither Sheskey nor the other officers present at the scene have been charged or fired from the department, but the incident is under investigation.
Meanwhile the Kenosha police Department has referred the investigation of the shooting to the Wisconsin Division of Criminal Investigation.
Those findings will go to district attorney Michael D. Graveley, the local official who will responsible for deciding whether to bring charges against any of the officers.
Graveley said on August 25 that the investigation was in ‘its earliest stages.’
The renewed protests sparked by Blake’s shooting come in the closing phase of the presidential election, and the incident emerged a a flashpoint in the race.