In his first televised interview since the shooting, Jacob Blake said he pictured his own death after being shot seven times by a police officer in Kenosha, Wisconsin in August.
During an interview with “Good Morning America,” Blake said his body went “limp” after officer Rusten Sheskey shot him multiple times. The shooting on Aug. 23, which occurred after police responded about a domestic dispute call, left Blake paralyzed.
“I didn’t want to be the next George Floyd — I didn't want to die,” he said. “I was counting down my breath, my blinks, I was like, God, I'm coming. I guess this it for me.”
Blake, whose children were in his vehicle when he was gunned down, said he “couldn’t believe” the officer shot him so many times.
“I kind of sat down in the car, trying to put my hands up because I didn’t want him shooting me in my face or in my head or nothing,” Blake said. “He just kept shooting, kept shooting. My babies are right here."
The 29-year-old remembered helplessly looking at his sons in the moments after he was shot.
"All I remember at that point was kinda leanin' back, lookin' at my boys," Blake recalled. "I said, 'Daddy love you no matter what.'"
Tearing up during the emotional interview with Strahan, Blake said he thought that would be “the last thing,” he’d ever tell his children.
"Thank God it wasn't," he added.
Blake also acknowledged he’d been carrying a small knife at the time of the shooting. He admitted to dropping a pocket knife after being tased.
"I realized I had dropped my knife, I had a little pocket knife, so I picked it up," he said. "I shouldn’t have picked it up … considering what was going on. At that time I wasn’t thinking clearly."
It’s unclear if Blake, who appeared on-camera in a wheelchair, will ever walk again.
After the shooting, Kenosha became a fresh flashpoint amid the summer’s ongoing protests over police violence against Black Americans. Earlier this month, prosecutors announced Sheskey wouldn’t be charged in Blake’s shooting.
Kenosha County District Attorney Michael Graveley stated Sheskey, a white police officer, opened fire in self-defense. He said that force was justified because Blake had been armed with a knife, disobeyed officers’ demands to drop it, and appeared to make a stabbing motion at Sheskey, according to the county prosecutor’s review of the case.
Prosecutors’ reluctance to pursue charges against Sheskey outraged Blake’s family and his attorney, Ben Crump.
“We are immensely disappointed in Kenosha District Attorney Michael Graveley’s decision not to charge the officers involved in this horrific shooting,” Crump told Oxygen.com in a statement. “We feel this decision failed not only Jacob and his family but the community that protested and demanded justice.”
Crump, the civil rights attorney, who represents the families of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Walter Wallace Jr., and Trayvon Martin, said the decision sends the “wrong message” to police officers across the country.
“Officer Sheskey’s actions sparked outrage and advocacy throughout the country, but the district attorney’s decision not to charge the officer who shot Jacob in the back multiple times, leaving him paralyzed, further destroys trust in our justice system,” Crump added. “It says it is OK for police to abuse their power and recklessly shoot their weapon, destroying the life of someone who was trying to protect his children.”
Sheskey, a seven-year veteran of Kenosha’s police force, was placed on administrative leave following the shooting. On Monday, demonstrators peacefully marched in the city demanding his firing.
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