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New audio shares the moment Jacob Blake confessed to being armed, DA's investigation reveals

Posted at 11:14 AM, Jan 06, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-06 13:55:24-05

KENOSHA — New audio shares the moment Jacob Blake confessed to investigators that he was armed with a knife on the day he was shot seven times by a Kenosha police officer.

The audio was shared by District Attorney Michael Graveley's office following the DA's decision to clear the officers involved in the shooting of Jacob Blake of any criminal charges after an investigation that lasted nearly five months.

In the new audio, you hear an investigator ask Blake, "Were you carrying a knife?"

"Yeah, I had my knife," said Blake.

It's that confession that, in-part, helped justify the actions of Kenosha Police Officer Rusten Sheskey, who opened fire on Blake on Aug. 23, officials say.

The video of the shooting was seen around the world and the shooting led to protests and several nights of violent riots in the city of Kenosha.

The district attorney now says it was that type of evidence that shows the shooting to be an act of self-defense.

Blake details returning to his SUV while in possession of the knife. It was that knife that Sheskey said he saw moments before the DA said Sheskey followed his training and began firing until there was no longer a threat. Sheskey shot Blake seven times, paralyzing the 27-year-old father of three.

Blake told investigators in the same interview that he was trying to leave the scene.

Investigator: "Hey, why did you want to go to the car?"
Jacob Blake: "Because my kids was in there."
Investigator: "Oh, OK. Why were the kids in there? You were going to go somewhere with them?"
Jacob Blake: "Because their mom was about to fight the neighbor."

Blake's answers show he never intended to hurt any police officers.

Investigator: "Jacob? Where was the knife by the time you got to the car? To the front door?"
Jacob Blake: "When I got in the car?"
Investigator: "Yea."
Jacob Blake: "It was getting thrown."
Investigator: "Oh, so you intended to throw it?"
Jacob Blake: "Not at the cops! Was going to throw it into my car."

Despite intentions, the prosecutor says it was in that moment that the police shooting of Blake was justifiable as self-defense.

District Attorney Graveley told the media, during an hours-long press conference announcing the decision to not charge the police officers, including Sheskey, that Sheskey said, "I don't know what he's going to do. Is he going to hurt the child? Is he going to take off in the vehicle? Are we going to be in a vehicle pursuit with a kid in the car?"

Sheskey and the other officers involved in the shooting are cleared of criminal charges by the Kenosha County District Attorney.

The Blake family is saying their fight is not over, calling the decision a "slap in the face."

The Blake family now plans to file a civil lawsuit.

Meanwhile, the US Department of Justice says a Federal Civil Rights Investigation is ongoing.

Both Kenosha city leaders and the family of Jacob Blake continue to call for a peaceful reaction to the DA's decision.

There were no reports of destruction following the DA's decision Tuesday.

Protesters remained civil while continuing calls for justice.

An Emergency Declaration in the City of Kenosha remains in place for the next week.

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