Jacob Blake has spoken for the first time about being shot by police last summer, a week after it was announced that no one would be charged in connection with the event.
In an interview with Good Morning America, Blake said he was sure he was going to die after he was shot seven times in the back by an officer in Kenosha, Wisconsin, saying, ‘I was counting down my breaths, my blinks. I was like ‘God, I’m coming.’ I guess this is it for me.’
Blake was left partially paralysed after Officer Rusten Sheskey opened fire at point blank range. Blake told host Michael Shahan that he immediately thought of his children, who were sat in the back seat of his car and witnessed the incident.
I went limp, and all I remember at that point was kind of leaning back and looking at my boys and I said, ‘Daddy loves you, no matter what,’ and I thought it was going to be the last thing I say to them…Thank God it wasn’t.
Police officers had been called to the scene of a domestic disturbance involving Blake and his former partner on August 23 last year, and were reportedly trying to arrest Blake for violating a restraining order related to a prior alleged sexual assault case. After having being tasered by police, Blake says he had reached into his car to try and put away a knife he had been carrying when Officer Sheskey began shooting.
In a criminal investigative report into the shooting, Officer Sheskey alleged that Blake had attempted to turn his knife on him, however Blake claims that he had instead planned to ‘throw [himself] to the ground’ in case the police tried to shoot him, saying he thought that ‘if they did it there, and they killed me there, everybody will see it.’
Blake’s shooting sparked mass protests in Kenosha and across America, following only a few months on from George Floyd’s murder at the hands of Minnesota police. In his interview, Blake revealed that he had resisted ‘getting beat on’ by the police as they attempted to arrest him, saying, ‘I didn’t wanna be the next George Floyd… I didn’t wanna die.’
Following an investigation, the Kenosha County district attorney announced last week that no charges would be filed against Officer Sheskey, saying prosecutors believed that, since Blake was carrying a knife, they would not be able to convince a jury that Sheskey was not acting in self-defence.
Since the shooting, Blake has had 36 surgeries, and is currently paralysed from the waist down. He told Good Morning America he is doing physical rehab and hopes he will be able to walk again.
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