On August 23rd, Officer Rusten Sheskey of the Kenosha Police in Wisconsin shot Jacob Blake, a 29-year-old black male, seven times.
The incident was recorded by an onlooker and uploaded online.
The video sparked more BLM protests in the locality, with hundreds of demonstrators gathering at the police station to demand Sheskey’s arrest. Blake was taken to the hospital. According to his family, his lower body is now paralyzed.
Currently, the investigation against Sheskey is on-going. On Monday, Sheskey’s interview with external investigators was released to the public. In the interview, Sheskey narrates the events according to his perspective.
According to the report, Sheskey thought Blake was trying to kidnap his own children. Sheskey’s defense lawyer, Brandon Mathews, issued a statement on his behalf. Mathews revealed to CNN that Sheskey answered the 911 call.
In the call, a woman said, “He’s got my kid. He’s got my keys.” Arriving on the scene, Sheskey saw Blake help a child into his car. At this point, Sheskey was not aware that there were two other kids with him.
In his interrogation with department investigators, he justified his decision to open fire. He stated that Blake, “held a knife in his hand and twisted his body toward[s the officers].” Sheskey claimed he kept shooting until Blake “no longer posed an imminent threat.”
The viral video (shot by 22-year-old bystander Raysean White) showed Blake walking around his car, being followed by several officers with their guns drawn. As Blake goes to open his car door, Sheskey begins shooting.
White, in an interview, revealed he saw police yelling at Blake to ‘drop the knife’. However, he did not see a knife in Blake’s hands. Ben Crump, Blake’s lawyer, reinforced this claim. Crump stated that Blake only tried to deescalate a domestic dispute that day.
The Kenosha Department of Justice did find a knife in Blake’s car. However, in their official report, they did not specify whether Blake was holding the knife. The report did not reveal whether the officers saw the knife during the confrontation.
Regarding Sheskey’s claims, Justin Blake, Jacob’s paternal uncle, expressed much rage and frustration.
He told local news channels, “That’s ridiculous. It’s gaslighting. Outright lies.”