Jacob Blake speaks out for first time since police shooting

Jacob Blake
Remarks from a hospital bed.

Jacob Blake has spoken publicly for the first time since a Kenosha, Wisconsin, police officer shot him seven times in the back, saying he’s in constant pain from the shooting, which doctors fear will leave him paralyzed from the waist down.

In a video posted Saturday night on Twitter by his family’s lawyer, Ben Crump, Blake said from his hospital bed that, “Twenty-four hours, every 24 hours it’s pain, nothing but pain. It hurts to breathe, it hurts to sleep, it hurts to move from side-to-side, it hurts to eat.”

Blake, a 29-year-old father of six, also said he has staples in his back and stomach.

“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,” Blake said, snapping his fingers.

He added: “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, who is Black, was shot in the back by a white police officer on Aug. 23 after walking away from the officer and two others who were trying to arrest him. The officer, Rusten Sheskey, opened fire after Blake opened his own SUV’s driver-side door and leaned into the vehicle. The shooting was captured on video and posted online, sparking several nights of protests and unrest in Kenosha, a city of about 100,000 between Milwaukee and Chicago.

Sheskey and the other officers who were at the scene were placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of an investigation by the Wisconsin Department of Justice. None of them have been charged.

Blake, who had an outstanding arrest warrant when he was shot, pleaded not guilty Friday to charges accusing him of sexually assaulting a woman in May and waived his right to a preliminary hearing. Blake appeared remotely via video conference from his Milwaukee hospital bed, wearing a dress shirt and tie. He spoke only to respond to the judge’s questions.

The state Justice Department has said a knife was recovered from Blake’s vehicle, but it has not said whether he was holding it when officers tried to arrest him.

The man who made the widely seen cellphone video of the shooting, 22-year-old Raysean White, said he saw Blake scuffling with three officers and heard them yell, “Drop the knife! Drop the knife!” before gunfire erupted. He said he didn’t see a knife in Blake’s hands.

The Kenosha police union said Blake had the knife and refused orders to drop it. Blake fought with police, including putting one officer in a headlock, the union said. Police twice used a Taser, which did not stop Blake.


Republished with permission of the Associated Press. 

Associated Press


  • Jim

    September 6, 2020 at 3:30 pm

    Mr. Blake,

    It is unfortunate that you are injured and hospitalized from having been shot. Sometimes people make decisions that do not work out well. Perhaps the result would have been different had you listened to the officer instead of walking away from him and, according to the story, reaching into your car. Would you have walked away from a Black police officer (the article makes a point of saying that Mr. Sheskey was White)? It seems uncertain whether your knife played a role in any of this, so it is largely immaterial. However, the outstanding arrest warrant may be a commentary on your respect for the law. Although there has not been a conviction, evidently there may be some reason to connect you to a sexual assault. If true, maybe that is also a commentary on your respect for the law and for other people. And your admonition to others to “stick together and make some money?” Your meaning is unclear except if we factor in an attorney’s involvement (Mr. Crump). I would not want to think that you wish to profit from the unfortunate occurrence. I would have thought that instead, you would want to caution others to remain calm and not riot for weeks on end and not to violate the rights of others as you seem to believe yours were violated. But, of course, reasonable minds can differ.

  • Amy Roberts

    September 6, 2020 at 5:09 pm

    The story that was reported at first was that the officers asked if he had a weapon and he admitted he did have a knife in the car and went to retrieve it. Until all the evidence is brought forward people need to back off the idea he should have followed what he was told, because maybe he was. He luckily is alive and will be able to testify.

Comments are closed.


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