On Sunday, a cell phone video hit the Internet that showed Jacob Blake walking away from officers and towards his vehicle. Officers followed close behind, yelling, with their weapons drawn; Blake continued to walk to his vehicle and open the driver’s side door. Officer Rusken Sheskey grabbed Blake’s shirt and then shot him at least 7 times in the back. The video was taken from a window across the street from the incident. It does not show anything that occurred prior to Blake walking away from officers.
Now, a new cell phone video has emerged – filmed from the other side of Blake’s SUV. Blake can be seen on the ground, engaging in a physical altercation with officers. Additionally, it has been confirmed that two officers fired tasers at Blake as he walked away from them; the tasers were not successful in stopping Blake for detainment.
The Other Side
"It's so easy to get discouraged. … We gotta stay focused and have to continue to keep pushing forward no matter how hard it gets."@FredVanVleet expresses his frustrations and emotions after the shooting of Jacob Blake.
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) August 26, 2020
It was noted that officers were responding to a “domestic disturbance” when the story was first released. Also, it was not specified how Blake was involved in the disturbance or with the officers. Now, it has been confirmed that Blake had an active warrant out for his arrest in relation to a domestic violence charge on the same block.
Blake was arrested on July 6 for Criminal Trespassing, and 3rd Degree Sexual Assault. He was also arrested for Disorderly Conduct in a Domestic Abuse case. He reportedly entered the home of his ex-girlfriend and then took her car keys and her vehicle. After that, he touched her in a sexual manner without her consent.
It is unknown if officers were aware of the warrant for his arrest at the time of the shooting on Sunday.
It has now been reported that a knife was found on the driver’s side floor of Blake’s vehicle. Looking at the totality of the situation, a conclusion could be made that he was entering his vehicle in order to procure the knife as a weapon. He did not brandish the knife.
Prior to Blake’s criminal record from this year, it has been reported that Blake had been involved in an altercation at a bar in which he pulled a firearm on another patron. It has also been reported that he resisted arrest at the time. He also caused “soft tissue damage” to the arresting officer.
Police in Kenosha, Wisconsin, shot a Black man from behind as he walked to his car on Sunday evening, triggering protests overnight https://t.co/97mpwDCi3K
— BuzzFeed News (@BuzzFeedNews) August 24, 2020
Kenosha, WI is a small town of about 100,000. If Blake did indeed have a history of violent crime, it is possible that the officers responding to the domestic disturbance were familiar with him.
There is no explanation for an officer firing 7 shots into a man’s back. However, there is a plausible case to be made that after a physical altercation, unsuccessfully using a taser gun, and Blake walking away from officers into his vehicle, that the officer had every right to use his firearm to stop Blake from gaining access to a weapon, or driving away from the scene of a crime.
For those concerned for Blake’s three young children who were in the car and saw their father get shot, ask yourself: would you choose to bring your children to a domestic disturbance? There was no place for a 3, 5, and 8 year old in the altercation that they witnessed. Blake’s behavior never should have been on display for any children to see.
Before Jacob Blake is martyred in the public eye as another Black man assaulted by a police officer, consider all of the facts of the case. Watch all angles of the videos. Realize that police officers used every method of detaining Blake prior to using a firearm. Firing 7 rounds into a man’s back is excessive, there is no getting around that. But what events lead to Jacob Blake being shot by Officer Rusken Sheskey?