News August 28, 2020 at 06:00 am

Jacob Blake is handcuffed to his hospital bed despite being paralyzed, dad says

Mildred Europa Taylor | Head of Content

Mildred Europa Taylor August 28, 2020 at 06:00 am

August 28, 2020 at 06:00 am | News

Jacob Blake

Jacob Blake is handcuffed to his hospital bed, despite being paralyzed from the waist down after being shot seven times by police on Sunday, his father said.

“I hate it that he was laying in that bed with the handcuff onto the bed,” Blake’s father, also called Jacob Blake, told the Chicago Sun-Times after visiting his son on Wednesday.

“He can’t go anywhere. Why do you have him cuffed to the bed?”

The father also wondered why his son was arrested, the Chicago-Sun Times report said.

Authorities have not announced any charges against Blake, who was shot by a Kenosha police officer while trying to detain him, according to investigators. The shooting has sparked protests, some of which have turned violent.

U.S. President Donald Trump has since sent federal law enforcement to Kenosha, saying in a tweet that they were to combat “looting, arson, violence, and lawlessness on American streets”. The Department of Justice has also opened a federal investigation into the shooting.

The officer who fired the shots at Blake was identified by the Wisconsin Department of Justice on Wednesday. In a statement, the department said officer Rusten Sheskey, a 7-year veteran, fired seven shots into Blake’s back, adding he was the only officer who discharged his weapon. All the officers involved in the incident have been placed on administrative leave.

The department said Blake “admitted that he had a knife in his possession” during the “investigation following the initial incident.”

“DCI agents recovered a knife from the driver’s side floorboard of Mr. Blake’s vehicle. A search of the vehicle located no additional weapons,” the statement said.

According to the department, officers responded to the scene of the August 23 incident after a “female caller reported that her boyfriend was present and was not supposed to be on the premises.”

The statement added: “During the incident, officers attempted to arrest Jacob S. Blake, age 29. Law enforcement deployed a taser to attempt to stop Mr. Blake, however the taser was not successful in stopping Mr. Blake. Mr. Blake walked around his vehicle, opened the driver’s side door, and leaned forward. While holding onto Mr. Blake’s shirt, Officer Rusten Sheskey fired his service weapon 7 times.”

A family attorney told CNN Blake did not have any weapon in the SUV earlier on Wednesday.

“I can’t speak directly to what he owned but what I can say is that his three children were in the car,” Patrick Salvi said. “That was on the forefront of his mind. That is the most important thing to him in his life — his family and his children.”

Blake’s uncle also told CNN they did not want to have any conversation with the officer.

“We just want to make sure the supervisors, those who are in charge, understand that (Blake’s) mother and … his father just want justice,” he said. “We don’t want to talk to him. He should have to deal with the system that’s in front of him, and we need to make sure that that system works.”

Family attorney’s account after shooting

In a statement after the shooting, family attorney Ben Crump said Blake was trying to deescalate the incident before the police arrived and walked to his car to check on his children. His children, aged 3, 5 and 8, were in the SUV and witnessed the shooting which left their father critically injured.

“Blake was helping to deescalate a domestic incident when police drew their weapons and tasered him. As he was walking away to check on his children, police fired their weapons several times into his back at point blank range. Blake’s three sons were only a few feet away and witnessed police shoot their father,” the statement said.

“We all watched the horrific video of Jacob Blake being shot in the back several times by Kenosha police. Even worse, his three sons witnessed their father collapse after being riddled with bullets. Their irresponsible, reckless, and inhumane actions nearly cost the life of a man who was simply trying to do the right thing by intervening in a domestic incident. It’s a miracle he’s still alive.”

Meanwhile, Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers on Thursday night said he was not aware Blake was cuffed to his bed.

“I would have no personal understanding why that would be necessary,” he said at a press conference, according to the Sun-Times.

“I can’t imagine why that’s happening and I would hope that we would be able to find a … better way to have him get better and recover,” the governor said.

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