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Jacob Blake, a Black Wisconsin man who was shot several times by a white police officer in Kenosha in August, has been released from hospital, according to his lawyers.
The 29-year-old Blake, who is now paralyzed from the waist down, has since checked into “a spinal injury rehabilitation center in Chicago,” following a six-week hospitalization, according to defense attorney Patrick Cafferty, CNN reported.
Blake, who underwent a number of grueling medical procedures during his hospitalization, suffered injuries to his arm, liver, kidney, and spinal cord, another family attorney said.
"He had a bullet go through some or all of his spinal cord, at least one bullet,” Patrick Salvi Jr. said. “He has holes in his stomach. He had to have nearly his entire colon and small intestines removed.”
Blake was shot seven times by police officer Rusten Shesky in front of his three children on Aug. 23.
Dramatic video of the near deadly encounter was captured by bystanders.
Kenosha police, who encountered Blake on an alleged domestic disturbance complaint, were supposedly aware of a warrant for his arrest — related to a past sexual assault charge — prior to arriving. After a scuffle, Blake can be seen trying to enter his vehicle, in which his three children were sitting, when Shesky shot him multiple times in the back. Authorities later seized a knife from Blake’s vehicle, although his legal team previously insisted Blake "did nothing to provoke police.”
“At no point in time was Jacob's momentum toward the officers, and what you see is that the officer is pulling on his shirt and then fires those seven bullets,” Salvi previously said. “If he was concerned that Jacob had a knife, why wouldn't he back away?"
Sheskey, along with Vincent Arenas and Brittany Meronek, the two other Kenosha police officers present during the violent arrest, have since been placed on administrative leave. No charges have been pressed in Blake’s shooting.
“I got staples in my back, staples in my damn stomach,” Blake said the 57-second clip. “You do not want to have to deal with this s--t, man. Every 24 hours, it’s pain. ... It hurts to breathe, it hurts to sleep, it hurts to move from side to side, it hurts to eat.”
It’s unclear if Blake’s paralysis is permanent. However, Ben Crump, another attorney for the Blake family, previously said it would take a “miracle” for Blake to walk again.
Blake pleaded not guilty to the earlier domestic abuse charge, as well as two other two other misdemeanor charges he’s facing during a teleconference court hearing last month, ABC News reported.
Federal authorities have since launched a formal civil rights investigation into the incident.
Blake’s shooting, which came on the heels of other officer-involved killings of unarmed Black Americans, including those of Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, and Rayshard Brooks, triggered widespread civil unrest, and nationwide protests calling for racial justice and police reform.
Blake's legal team, including attorneys Crump, Salvi, or Cafferty, didn't immediately respond to Oxygen.com's request for comment on Thursday.
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