- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 27, 2020

Jacob Blake had a knife on the driver’s side of his car and was about to be arrested in a domestic dispute when he was shot Sunday seven times by an officer in Kenosha, according to the Wisconsin Department of Justice.

The department released details late Wednesday after three nights of protests and rioting in the Wisconsin community sparked by the shooting of Mr. Blake, a 29-year-old Black man, by Kenosha Police Department Officer Rusten Sheskey, who is White.

The department, which is investigating the shooting, said that officers were called to the residence on 40th Street in Kenosha “after a female caller reported that her boyfriend was present and was not supposed to be on the premises.”

“During the incident, officers attempted to arrest Jacob S. Blake, age 29,” said the statement. “Law enforcement deployed a taser to attempt to stop Mr. Blake, however the taser was not successful in stopping Mr. Blake. Mr. Blake walked around his vehicle, opened the driver’s side door, and leaned forward.”

Officer Sheskey, a seven-year member of the Kenosha Police Department, fired his service weapon seven times as he held onto Mr. Blake’s white tank top, hitting him in the back. Mr. Blake was transported by Flight for Life to Froedtert Hospital in Milwaukee.

“During the investigation following the initial incident, Mr. Blake admitted that he had a knife in his possession,” said the statement. “DCI agents recovered a knife from the driver’s side floorboard of Mr. Blake’s vehicle. A search of the vehicle located no additional weapons.”

The department added, “No other officer fired their weapon. Kenosha Police Department does not have body cameras, therefore the officers were not wearing body cameras.”

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Wisconsin confirmed Wednesday that a federal civil-rights probe has been launched into the incident.

Patrick Salvi Jr., a Chicago-based attorney for the Blake family, said earlier Wednesday that three of Mr. Blake’s children were in the car, but said he did not have a weapon there.

“In the vehicle he did not have a weapon,” Mr. Salvi told CNN. “I can’t speak directly to what he owned, but what I can say is his three children were in the car and that was in the front of his mind. That is the most important thing to him in his life: his family and his children.”

He said that Mr. Blake underwent surgery Tuesday and remains paralyzed from the waist down after being hit in the spinal cord, while attorney Ben Crump said it would “take a miracle” for him to walk again.

In a Monday statement, Mr. Crump said that his client was “helping to deescalate a domestic incident when police drew their weapons and tasered him.”

“As he was walking away to check on his children, police fired their weapons several times into his back at point blank range,” said the Crump statement. “Blake’s three sons were only a few feet away and witnessed police shoot their father.”

Mr. Crump also represents the family of George Floyd, who died May 25 in Minneapolis police custody as an officer knelt on his neck, spurring widespread Black Lives Matter protests as well as rioting.

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