Cop Shot Blake for a Reason, Lawyer Says

But Blake's uncle calls it 'gaslighting'
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Sep 27, 2020 5:00 PM CDT
Lawyer of Cop Who Shot Blake: This Is Why He Did It
In this September 2019 selfie photo taken in Evanston, Ill., Adria-Joi Watkins poses with her second cousin Jacob Blake.   (Courtesy Adria-Joi Watkins via AP)

The Kenosha police officer who shot Jacob Blake in the back seven times last month told investigators he thought Blake was trying to abduct one of his own children and that he opened fire because Blake started turning toward the officer while holding a knife, the officer's lawyer contends, per the AP. Brendan Matthews, the attorney for Officer Rusten Sheskey and the Kenosha police union, told CNN that when Sheskey arrived at the scene on Aug. 23 in response to a call from a woman who said Blake was at her home and shouldn't be there, he heard a woman say, "He's got my kid. He's got my keys." Sheskey saw Blake put a child in the SUV as he arrived, but he didn't know that two other children were also in the back seat, Matthews said.

He said Sheskey told investigators he opened fire because Blake "held a knife in his hand and twisted his body toward" the officer, and that he didn't stop until he determined Blake "no longer posed an imminent threat." Matthews said if Sheskey had allowed Blake to leave and something happened to the child, "the question would have been 'Why didn't you do something?'" Blake's uncle, Justin Blake, said Saturday that the allegation that Blake was attempting to kidnap his own child was false, the Kenosha News reported. "That's ridiculous," Justin Blake said. "It's gaslighting. Outright lies." Cellphone video captured by a bystander and posted online shows Sheskey shooting Blake seven times and leaving him paralyzed from the waist down, according to his family members and lawyer.

(More Jacob Blake stories.)

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