Jacob Blake, speaking publicly for the first time since he was shot seven times by a white police officer in Kenosha, Wisconsin, emotionally described how his life changed in a split second.
In a 57-second video clip posted to Twitter, the 29-year-old, appearing frail and depleted in a light green hospital gown, described the anguish of his painstaking recovery.
“I got staples in my back, staples in my damn stomach,” Blake said in a video posted to his lawyer Ben Crump’s account. “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.”
“I just want to say, man, to all the young cats out there, and even the older ones, older than me, there’s a lot more life to live out here, man,” Blake told the camera. “Your life — and not only just your life — your legs, something that you need to move around and forward in life, can be taken from you like this, man.”
In the days following the police shooting, Blake was placed under armed guard and shackled to his hospital bed. Warrants for his arrest have since been vacated, his legal team previously confirmed to Oxygen.com.
“Please, I’m telling you, change our lives out there, we can stick together, make some money, make things easier for our people out here because there’s so much time that’s been wasted,” Blake said.
Blake, 29, was reportedly attending a child’s birthday party in Kenosha at the time he was shot. State officials have maintained that police confronted Blake after a woman “reported that her boyfriend was present and was not supposed to be on the premises.”
Investigators later recovered a knife from the floorboard of the vehicle. At the time of the shooting, Blake had an active warrant for third-degree sexual assault. Police have since insisted they were aware of the warrant prior to arriving at the scene.
Three of Blake’s children were seated in a vehicle mere feet away when Sheskey, a seven-year veteran of Kenosha’s police force, opened fire on the Black father as he attempted to get inside.
The Justice Department has opened a civil rights investigation into Blake’s shooting. Meanwhile, Kenosha’s police union has denied Sheskey or the other officers involved, Vincent Arenas and Brittany Meronek, committed any wrongdoing. Both Sheskey and Arenas also tased Blake in the incident, according to officials. The Kenosha Police Department does not use body cameras.
All three police officers have been placed on administrative leave. No charges have been filed against the trio of officers. Wisconsin’s Attorney General Josh Kaul is leading an independent investigation into the shooting.
Blake’s violent arrest fanned the flames of nationwide protests, largely peaceful, calling for an end to police brutality, beginning with George Floyd’s death in May. In Kenosha, widespread civil unrest triggered rioting in some sections of the city and tense standoffs between police and protesters that lasted upwards of a week. The city ended a 10-day curfew on Sept. 2.
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