KENOSHA — The Kenosha police union has offered the most detailed accounting to date on officers’ perspective about what happened prior to Jacob Blake being shot seven times in the back.
An attorney for the Kenosha Professional Police Association on Friday said that Blake was armed with a knife and fought with officers, putting one of them in a headlock.
The Sunday shooting of Blake, a Black man, put the nation’s spotlight on Wisconsin and triggered a series of peaceful protests and violence.
Matthews says the state Department of Justice’s public accounting of the event to date is “riddled with incomplete information and omits important details."
According to the KPPA (directly from the news release):
- The officers were dispatched to the location due to a complaint that Mr. Blake was attempting to steal the caller’s keys/vehicle.
- Officers were aware of Mr. Blake’s open warrant for felony sexual assault (3rd degree) before they arrived on scene.
- Mr. Blake was not breaking up a fight between two females when officers arrived on scene.
- The silver SUV seen in the widely circulated video was not Mr. Blake’s vehicle.
- Mr. Blake was not unarmed. He was armed with a knife. The officers did not see the knife initially. The officers first saw him holding the knife while they were on the passenger side of the vehicle. The “main” video circulating on the internet shows Mr. Blake with the knife in his left hand when he rounds the front of the car. The officers issued repeated commands for Mr. Blake to drop the knife. He did not comply.
- The officers initially tried to speak with Mr. Blake, but he was uncooperative.
- The officers then began issuing verbal commands to Mr. Blake, but he was non-complaint.
- The officers next went “hands-on” with Mr. Blake, so as to gain compliance and control.
- Mr. Blake actively resisted the officers’ attempt to gain compliance.
- The officers then disengaged and drew their tasers, issuing commands to Mr. Blake that he would be tased if he did not comply.
- Based on his non-compliance, one officer tased Mr. Blake. The taser did not incapacitate Mr. Blake.
- The officers once more went “hands-on” with Mr. Blake; again, trying to gain control of the escalating situation.
- Mr. Blake forcefully fought with the officers, including putting one of the officers in a headlock.
- A second taser (from a different officer than had deployed the initial taser) was then deployed on Mr. Blake. It did not appear to have any impact on him.
- Based on the inability to gain compliance and control after using verbal, physical and less-lethal means, the officers drew their firearms.
- Mr. Blake continued to ignore the officers’ commands, even with the threat of lethal force now present.
On Thursday, Reverend Jesse Jackson traveled to Kenosha to demand justice for Jacob Blake and speak about what Jackson calls a "stark double standard" between the arrest of Jacob Blake and alleged shooter Kyle Rittenhouse.
“We need officers that are not above the law,” Reverend Jesse Jackson.
“I know there are people trying to give him a pass because he was protecting property, but I don’t need people to come in and protect my property,” said Wendell Harris Kenosha NAACP President.
Community leaders are now demanding answers as to why the 17-year-old was able to walk away, untouched, with a loaded semi-automatic weapon across his chest, while Blake who was walking away from police ended up with 7 bullets in his back, leaving him paralyzed.
“Shot in the back 7 times....in front of his children...there's no justification,” said Reverend Jackson.
Blake's family attorney, Ben Crump also raising questions.
“The police let him walk by and don’t raise an eyebrow even though he has an assault weapon and they take him alive. That is the difference between justice in white America and Black America we have to have one justice system for every citizen,” said Crump.