Jacob Blake explains shooting in interview: 'Didn't have to shoot'

In a new, 20-minute interview with investigators, Jacob Blake explained what happened the day he was shot by Kenosha Police Officer Rusten Sheskey in August 2020.

Blake, who is now partially paralyzed as a result of the shooting, shared how things spiraled out of control last year.

Two days after Blake was shot, groggy and in a hospital bed, he recounted what led up to being shot seven times.

"They tased me, I ripped it out. They said don’t do that," Blake said during that interview.

Jacob Blake

Officers were called to a Kenosha home for a domestic violence incident on Aug. 23. They learned that Blake had an outstanding warrant for his arrest. Kenosha County District Attorney Michael Gravely said Jan. 5 that when officers tried to arrest Blake, he resisted and was armed.

When asked if he was carrying a knife, Blake told investigators he did. Asked again why he grabbed it, Blake responded in the interview: "I didn’t want to leave my knife behind. I should have just left it. That instantly gives them a defense."

Investigators spent months looking into what happened. Hundreds of documents are videos were made available online. When announcing that no officers would be charged in the shooting, Graveley said Sheskey could successfully argue self-defense before a jury because Blake had a knife.

Blake's attorney blasted the decision.

"They didn't have to shoot me like that," said Blake. "I was just trying to leave. He had an option to shoot my tires, even punch me."

Wisconsin Department of Justice documents state that Sheskey did not make a recorded interview statement, but believed Blake had intent to harm -- which is why he opened fire.

In a statement, Sheskey's attorney Brendan Matthews said: "The video remains difficult to view, but that does not change what actually occurred. Fales and misleading narratives to the contrary need to stop."

The federal investigation into the case is ongoing. 

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