Ja­cob Blake says in hos­pi­tal video he’s in con­stant pain

Chicago Sun-Times - - TOP NEWS -

MIL­WAU­KEE — 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.


Ja­cob Blake de­liv­ers a mes­sage from his hos­pi­tal room in Kenosha on Satur­day. “It hurts to breathe, it hurts to sleep, it hurts to move from side-to-side, it hurts to eat,” he said.

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