Thursday, 24 Sep 2020

Jacob Blake speaks to supporters for first time since police shooting

MILWAUKEE (AP) — 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.

50 PHOTOSProtests across the U.S. over Jacob Blake shooting in WisconsinSee GalleryProtests across the U.S. over Jacob Blake shooting in WisconsinPolice try to secure businesses after protesters set fire to an office in the background late Monday, Aug. 24, 2020, in Kenosha, Wis. Protesters converged on the county courthouse during a second night of clashes after the police shooting of Jacob Blake a day earlier turned Kenosha into the nation’s latest flashpoint city in a summer of racial unrest. (AP Photo/David Goldman)A protester attempts to continue standing through a cloud of tear gas fired by police outside the Kenosha County Courthouse, late Monday, Aug. 24, 2020, in Kenosha, Wis. Protesters converged on the county courthouse during a second night of clashes after the police shooting of Jacob Blake a day earlier turned Kenosha into the nation’s latest flashpoint city in a summer of racial unrest. (AP Photo/David Goldman)Protesters take cover from tear gas fired by police outside the Kenosha County Courthouse, late Monday, Aug. 24, 2020, in Kenosha, Wis. Protesters converged on the county courthouse during a second night of clashes after the police shooting of Jacob Blake a day earlier turned Kenosha into the nation’s latest flashpoint city in a summer of racial unrest. (AP Photo/David Goldman)Bystanders look on as cars burn after protesters set fire to a used auto lot late Monday, Aug. 24, 2020, in Kenosha, Wis. Protests have been sparked by the shooting of Jacob Blake by a Kenosha Police officer a day earlier. (AP Photo/David Goldman)Police in riot gear stand in a line against protesters next to a message spay painted on the Kenosha County Courthouse, late Monday, Aug. 24, 2020, in Kenosha, Wis. Protesters converged on the county courthouse during a second night of clashes after the police shooting of Jacob Blake a day earlier turned Kenosha into the nation’s latest flashpoint city in a summer of racial unrest. (AP Photo/David Goldman)Police attempt to push back protesters outside the Kenosha County Courthouse, late Monday, Aug. 24, 2020, in Kenosha, Wis. Protesters converged on the county courthouse during a second night of clashes after the police shooting of Jacob Blake a day earlier turned Kenosha into the nation’s latest flashpoint city in a summer of racial unrest. (AP Photo/David Goldman)A protester attempts to stand through a cloud of tear gas fired by police outside the Kenosha County Courthouse, late Monday, Aug. 24, 2020, in Kenosha, Wis. Protesters converged on the county courthouse during a second night of clashes after the police shooting of Jacob Blake a day earlier turned Kenosha into the nation’s latest flashpoint city in a summer of racial unrest. (AP Photo/David Goldman)Police stand near a building that was on fire during protests, Monday, Aug. 24, 2020, in Kenosha, Wis., sparked by the shooting of Jacob Blake by a Kenosha Police officer a day earlier. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)A protester walks past a building that was on fire during protests Monday, Aug. 24, 2020, in Kenosha, Wis., sparked by the shooting of Jacob Blake by a Kenosha Police officer on Sunday. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)Police clash with protesters near the Kenosha County Courthouse, Monday, Aug. 24, 2020, in Kenosha, Wis. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)A protester lights a cigarette on a garbage truck that was set on fire during protests late Monday, Aug. 24, 2020, in Kenosha, Wis., sparked by the shooting of Jacob Blake by a Kenosha Police officer a day earlier. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)Police clash with protesters near the Kenosha County Courthouse, Monday, Aug. 24, 2020, in Kenosha, Wis. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)Police clash with protesters near the Kenosha County Courthouse, Monday, Aug. 24, 2020, in Kenosha, Wis. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)Police try to secure businesses after protesters set fire to an office in the background late Monday, Aug. 24, 2020, in Kenosha, Wis. Protests have erupted following the police shooting of Jacob Blake a day earlier. (AP Photo/David Goldman)A protester shouts toward police after getting injured during clashes between the two sides late Monday, Aug. 24, 2020, in Kenosha, Wis. Protesters converged on the county courthouse during a second night of clashes after the police shooting of Jacob Blake a day earlier turned Kenosha into the nation’s latest flashpoint city in a summer of racial unrest. (AP Photo/David Goldman)An American flag flies above the department of corrections building, late Monday, Aug. 24, 2020, in Kenosha, Wis. Protests have erupted following the police shooting of Jacob Blake a day earlier. (AP Photo/David Goldman)LOUISVILLE, KY- AUGUST 23: Black Lives Matter protestors demonstrate at the corner of 6th and Broadway in Louisville, Kentucky after the police shooting of Jacob Blake on August 23, 2020 in Kenosha, Wisconsin . Credit: Chris Tuite/ImageSPACE/MediaPunch /IPXLOUISVILLE, KY- AUGUST 23: Black Lives Matter protestors demonstrate at the corner of 6th and Broadway in Louisville, Kentucky after the police shooting of Jacob Blake on August 23, 2020 in Kenosha, Wisconsin . Credit: Chris Tuite/ImageSPACE/MediaPunch /IPXLOUISVILLE, KY- AUGUST 23: Black Lives Matter protestors demonstrate at the corner of 6th and Broadway in Louisville, Kentucky after the police shooting of Jacob Blake on August 23, 2020 in Kenosha, Wisconsin . Credit: Chris Tuite/ImageSPACE/MediaPunch /IPXLOUISVILLE, KY- AUGUST 23: A Black Lives Matter protestor demonstrates at the corner of 6th and Broadway in Louisville, Kentucky after the police shooting of Jacob Blake on August 23, 2020 in Kenosha, Wisconsin . Credit: Chris Tuite/ImageSPACE/MediaPunch /IPXLOUISVILLE, KY- AUGUST 23: Black Lives Matter protestors demonstrate at the corner of 6th and Broadway in Louisville, Kentucky after the police shooting of Jacob Blake on August 23, 2020 in Kenosha, Wisconsin . Credit: Chris Tuite/ImageSPACE/MediaPunch /IPXLOUISVILLE, KY- AUGUST 23: A Black Lives Matter protestor demonstrates at the corner of 6th and Broadway in Louisville, Kentucky after the police shooting of Jacob Blake on August 23, 2020 in Kenosha, Wisconsin . Credit: Chris Tuite/ImageSPACE/MediaPunch /IPXA protester stands in a cloud of tear gas near a burning garbage truck outside the Kenosha County Courthouse, late Monday, Aug. 24, 2020, in Kenosha, Wis. Protesters converged on the county courthouse during a second night of clashes after the police shooting of Jacob Blake a day earlier turned Kenosha into the nation’s latest flashpoint city in a summer of racial unrest. (AP Photo/David Goldman)A protester stands on a car as they stop traffic Monday, Aug. 24, 2020, in Kenosha, Wis. Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers has summoned the National Guard to head off another round of violent protests after the police shooting of a Black man turned Kenosha into the nation’s latest flashpoint city in a summer of racial unrest. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)Burned out vehicles are seen Monday, Aug. 24, 2020, in Kenosha, Wis. Many of the cars were set on fire during protests Sunday night after a police shooting in the city. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)Protesters walk past police with their arms up, late Monday, Aug. 24, 2020, in Kenosha, Wis., as a building burns in the background. Protests have erupted following the police shooting of Jacob Blake a day earlier. (AP Photo/David Goldman)A protester stands off with police in riot gear outside the Kenosha County Courthouse, late Monday, Aug. 24, 2020, in Kenosha, Wis. Protesters converged on the county courthouse during a second night of clashes after the police shooting of Jacob Blake a day earlier turned Kenosha into the nation’s latest flashpoint city in a summer of racial unrest. (AP Photo/David Goldman)Police stand near a garbage truck ablaze during protests, Monday, Aug. 24, 2020, in Kenosha, Wis., sparked by the shooting of Jacob Blake by a Kenosha Police officer a day earlier. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)Police stand near a department of corrections building ablaze during protests, Monday, Aug. 24, 2020, in Kenosha, Wis., sparked by the shooting of Jacob Blake by a Kenosha Police officer a day earlier. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)A protester walks past a building with broken windows as others burn during protests, Monday, Aug. 24, 2020, in Kenosha, Wis., sparked by the shooting of Jacob Blake by a Kenosha Police officer a day earlier. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)A man walks near an office on fire, late Monday, Aug. 24, 2020, in Kenosha, Wis. Protests have erupted following the police shooting of Jacob Blake a day earlier. (AP Photo/David Goldman)A protester stands near a burning garbage truck outside the Kenosha County Courthouse, late Monday, Aug. 24, 2020, in Kenosha, Wis. Protesters converged on the county courthouse during a second night of clashes after the police shooting of Jacob Blake a day earlier turned Kenosha into the nation’s latest flashpoint city in a summer of racial unrest. (AP Photo/David Goldman)Police clash with protesters near the Kenosha County Courthouse, Monday, Aug. 24, 2020, in Kenosha, Wis. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)Protesters link arms in front of a police line outside the Kenosha County courthouse Monday, Aug. 24, 2020, in Kenosha, Wis. Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers has summoned the National Guard to head off another round of violent protests after the police shooting of a Black man turned Kenosha into the nation’s latest flashpoint city in a summer of racial unrest. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)Protesters chant outside the Kenosha County courthouse Monday, Aug. 24, 2020, in Kenosha, Wis. Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers has summoned the National Guard to head off another round of violent protests after the police shooting of a Black man turned Kenosha into the nation’s latest flashpoint city in a summer of racial unrest. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)Protesters link arms in front of a police line outside the Kenosha County courthouse Monday, Aug. 24, 2020, in Kenosha, Wis. Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers has summoned the National Guard to head off another round of violent protests after the police shooting of a Black man turned Kenosha into the nation’s latest flashpoint city in a summer of racial unrest. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)Police try to secure the public safety building from protesters Monday, Aug. 24, 2020, in Kenosha, Wis.Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers has summoned the National Guard to head off another round of violent protests after the police shooting of a Black man under murky circumstances turned Kenosha into the nation’s latest flashpoint city in a summer of racial unrest.(AP Photo/Morry Gash)Police try to secure the public safety building from protesters Monday, Aug. 24, 2020, in Kenosha, Wis.Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers has summoned the National Guard to head off another round of violent protests after the police shooting of a Black man under murky circumstances turned Kenosha into the nation’s latest flashpoint city in a summer of racial unrest.(AP Photo/Morry Gash)A small group of Black Lives Matter protesters hold a rally on the steps of the Kenosha County courthouse Monday, Aug. 24, 2020, in Kenosha, Wis. Kenosha police shot a man Sunday evening, setting off unrest in the city after a video appeared to show the officer firing several shots at close range into the man’s back. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)A small group of Black Lives Matter protesters hold a rally on the steps of the Kenosha County courthouse Monday, Aug. 24, 2020, in Kenosha, Wis. Kenosha police shot a man Sunday evening, setting off unrest in the city after a video appeared to show the officer firing several shots at close range into the man’s back. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)A woman is seen through a broken window at the Harborside Academy Monday, Aug. 24, 2020, in Kenosha, Wis. The windows were broken after protests broke out late Sunday night following a police shooting. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)A small group of Black Lives Matter protesters march near the sight of a police shooting Monday, Aug. 24, 2020, in Kenosha, Wis. Kenosha police shot a man Sunday evening, setting off unrest in the city after a video appeared to show the officer firing several shots at close range into the man’s back. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)Burned out vehicles are seen Monday, Aug. 24, 2020, in Kenosha, Wis. Many of the cars were set on fire during protests Sunday night after a police shooting in the city. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)A protester walks past a building ablaze during protests Monday, Aug. 24, 2020, in Kenosha, Wis., sparked by the shooting of Jacob Blake by a Kenosha Police officer on Sunday. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)Police clash with protesters near the Kenosha County Courthouse, Monday, Aug. 24, 2020, in Kenosha, Wis. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)Police take cover behind armored vehicles during clashes with protesters late Monday, Aug. 24, 2020, in Kenosha, Wis. Protesters converged on the county courthouse during a second night of clashes after the police shooting of Jacob Blake a day earlier turned Kenosha into the nation’s latest flashpoint city in a summer of racial unrest. (AP Photo/David Goldman)LOUISVILLE, KY- AUGUST 23: Black Lives Matter protestors demonstrate at the corner of 6th and Broadway in Louisville, Kentucky after the police shooting of Jacob Blake on August 23, 2020 in Kenosha, Wisconsin . Credit: Chris Tuite/ImageSPACE/MediaPunch /IPXLOUISVILLE, KY- AUGUST 23: Black Lives Matter protestors demonstrate at the corner of 6th and Broadway in Louisville, Kentucky after the police shooting of Jacob Blake on August 23, 2020 in Kenosha, Wisconsin . Credit: Chris Tuite/ImageSPACE/MediaPunch /IPXProtesters walk past police with their arms up, late Monday, Aug. 24, 2020, in Kenosha, Wis., as a building burns in the background. Protests have erupted following the police shooting of Jacob Blake a day earlier. (AP Photo/David Goldman)Police stand near a building that was on fire during protests, Monday, Aug. 24, 2020, in Kenosha, Wis., sparked by the shooting of Jacob Blake by a Kenosha Police officer on Sunday. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)Up Next

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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.

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