Lawyer Says Officer Thought Jacob Blake was Trying to Kidnap Child

Jacob Blake delivers a message to his supporters on Sept. 6, 2020 from his hospital bed. (Image via attorney Ben Crump)

After over a month since the shooting of 29-year-old Jacob Blake at the hands of Kenosha, Wisconsin police, a new development rises. An attorney for Rusten Sheskey, the police officer who shot him seven times, is now claiming that the officer thought Blake was armed and involved in a kidnapping situation.

What We Know:

  • Blake, a Black man and father of three, was shot exactly seven times by a police officer while he had his back turned to them as he opened his car door. The result of the incident has left the man paralyzed from the waist down, and it’s still unclear if it will be permanent. The officers were originally called to the neighborhood over reports of a domestic dispute, of which Blake was not directly involved in.
  • His shooting only fanned the fire on what continues to be a highly unstable social environment in the U.S this year. As if previous shootings and deaths weren’t enough, protests over racial injustice and police practices blew up the city of Kenosha over the past month. Police remain under fire across the nation for their failure at handling situations with minority victims, specifically Black people.
  • Blake was one of the few fortunate ones and survived the shooting, but at the cost of his legs. He is currently still hospitalized and paralyzed. Earlier reports from the family stated that his only involvement was trying to help deescalate the domestic dispute, a fight between two women, in the neighborhood. He was unarmed at the time of his shooting.
  • According to CNN, attorney Brandon Matthews said Sheskey fired seven shots toward Blake in an effort to detain him. The officer was under the impression that Blake was attempting to flee the scene in possession of a child that wasn’t his. This comes despite Ben Crump, the family’s attorney, previously stating that all three children were present at the time and were “absolutely devastated”.
  • The attorney reportedly claimed other people at the scene shouted “He’s got my kid. He’s got my keys.” Sheskey’s lawyer later questioned why the officer wouldn’t have done what he did given what he heard in the spur of the moment.
  • Another claim which video evidence disproves was the fact that other police officers at the scene say Blake had a knife in his possession and was running towards officers. According to the attorney, the alleged movement is what prompted the shots to be fired because that action led officer Sheskey to believe his life was in danger.

Matthews has said that officer Sheskey “didn’t go to work wanting to shoot anybody. He went to work trying to help people”. He went on to say that it’s what he’s supposed to do and clearly “did not want this to happen”. The case defending Sheskey has continued to be met with hard evidence and findings from the Wisconsin Division of Criminal Investigation.