Jacob Blake detailed the events of a police shooting that left him paralyzed and contributed to the civil unrest America experienced throughout the 2020 summer. Speaking with Good Morning America’s Michael Strahan five months after the shooting, Blake recalled getting shot in front of two of his six children.
“I didn’t want to be the next George Floyd. I didn’t want to die,” Blake said when describing his reaction to getting shot.
According to Blake, he was at the home of Laquisha Booker — the mother of three of his children — to celebrate his son’s eighth birthday. After an argument occurred between Booker and a neighbor, Blake said he attempted to take his children to the store with him to remove them from the situation. However, Booker called the police and claimed Blake was taking her rental car and refusing to give her back the keys.
Three Kenosha police officers responded to the incident and were alerted of Blake’s arrest warrants on charges of trespassing, disorderly conduct, and third-degree sexual assault, stemming from an alleged domestic violence incident earlier that summer.
Blake said he was putting one of his children in the car when he felt someone grab his arm.
“After I did that, I realize that it was the police and it was like, ‘Uh-oh,'” he explained. “Cause when I did that…he slammed me up against the truck.”
A struggle ensued between Blake and Officer Rusten Sheskey, leading the cop to use his taser on Blake multiple times.
“At that point, I’m rattled,” Blake recalled. “I realized I had dropped my knife, had a little pocket knife. So I picked it up after I got off of him because they tased me and I fell on top of him.”
Blake claimed he began walking towards the driver’s side of his car so he could put the knife away and surrender to the police before acknowledging that was a mistake.
“I shouldn’t have picked it up, only considering what was going on,” he said. “At that time, I wasn’t thinking clearly.”
Sheskey claimed he feared Blake was going to stab him when he turned him around and saw he had an open knife in hand. He claimed the knife was moving towards his torso but Blake has denied that claim. Sheskey added that he kept shooting Blake until he saw the knife drop.
While Sheskey accused Blake of ignoring his verbal commands to stop resisting, Blake claimed he couldn’t hear anything because his ears were ringing and there was so much screaming. Blake also stated he wasn’t trying to evade the police but was resisting “getting beat on.”
“And what I mean by that is not falling, not letting them put they head on my neck,” he explained. “That’s all I was thinking, honestly.”
Blake described getting shot and coming to terms with that possibly being the final moment he’d have with his children.
“All I remember at that point was kinda leanin’ back, lookin’ at my boys. I said, ‘Daddy, love you no matter what,'” the 29-year-old said he told his children after getting shot in the back seven times. “It was the last thing I said to them at that point. I thought that was going to be the last thing I say to them. Thank God it wasn’t.”
Since the shooting, Blake has undergone multiple surgeries and is now paralyzed from the waist down and confined to a wheelchair. Last week, Kenosha County District Attorney Mike Graveley announced that no police officers will be charged in Blake’s shooting.