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Officials announce officer involved in Jacob Blake shooting will not face charges
Hundreds take to the streets in Kenosha to protest verdict; reaction from former NYPD detective Oscar Odom.
Jacob Blake, a Black man who was shot by a White police officer in Wisconsin in August, said during an interview on Thursday that he was carrying a knife when the incident occurred.
Blake, 29, told ABC’s “Good Morning America” that he dropped a pocketknife as police were trying to arrest him, and then he picked it back up.
“I realized I had dropped my knife, I had a little pocketknife, so I picked it up,” Blake said of his scuffle with the Kenosha officer, who had tazed him.
After that Blake said he walked away from the officer and headed to his car door, where two of his children sat in the backseat.
“I shouldn’t have picked it up … considering what was going on,” Blake said of his knife. “At that time I wasn’t thinking clearly.”
Blake said he was prepared to surrender once he put the knife in the vehicle.
Several outlets, including the Washington Post, had previously characterized Blake as unarmed.
JACOB BLAKE SAYS HE WAS READY TO SURRENDER BEFORE BEING SHOT
Officer Rusten Sheskey told investigators that he feared Blake was going to stab him, so he opened fire. Blake family attorney Ben Crump, however, has questioned whether Blake threatened Sheskey with a knife, saying “nowhere does the video footage show a knife extended and aimed to establish the requisite intent.”
Blake also denied on Thursday that he made a move directing the knife toward Sheskey’s body.
Police officers were attempting to arrest Blake over an outstanding warrant after being called over family trouble.
Seven gunshots were fired, which ultimately left Blake partially paralyzed.
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Kenosha erupted with violent protests for several nights after Blake was shot. Hundreds were arrested, and multiple businesses were destroyed. A Wisconsin prosecutor on Jan. 5 declined to file charges against Sheskey, concluding he couldn’t disprove the officer’s contention that he acted in self-defense.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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