News and Commentary

Kenosha District Attorney Debunks False Media Claims On Jacob Blake: ‘Incontrovertible’ He Was Armed
Kenosha District Attorney Michael Graveley announces that no charges will be filled in the shooting of Jacob Blake and no charges will be filed against Jacob Blake, during a press conference in Kenosha, Wisconsin, on January 5, 2021. - Bystander video showed a police officer, Rusten Sheskey, firing several shots into Blake's back as he tried to get into his car while his three children sat inside on August 23, 2020. Blake, 29, is now paralyzed from the waist down. Officials called in the National Guard Tuesday as Kenosha, Wisconsin girded for possible violence after the announcement.

During a press conference on Tuesday about the officer-involved shooting of Jacob Blake in Wisconsin, Kenosha District Attorney Michael Gravely debunked false claims made by the media and activists.

“There are many commands disobeyed and that’s not only talked about by all the officers, but that’s admitted by Jacob Blake in his statements and there are a number of civilians who talk about that as well,” Gravely said. “And there are multiple ways that officers try to bring Jacob Blake into custody, again, none of those I think visible in any of the videos. They try to direct him to the ground, they try to grab, multiple officers try to grab his arms and secure him so he can be cuffed. He admits at one point officers were trying to ‘handcuff me but I was able to get up.'”

“There’s a time where he’s down on the ground … where a really close viewing of it shows Jacob Blake is on top of someone who has to be officer Sheskey based on everyone else and officer Sheskey says, ‘I was on top of him and then he was on top of me as we were grappling for me trying to get him under arrest,'” Gravely continued. “Most importantly, he was tased twice using remote penetrators and once with a direct strike with taser. So, I’m going to suggest to you three attempts were made to tase Jacob Blake to get him in compliance.”

Gravely said that police officers that were involved in the incident indicated that they had never seen a suspect who was not impacted by the use of tasers.

Gravely then debunked a key false claim that was promoted by the media and left-wing activists.

“Very important, Jacob Blake, while actively resisting, arms himself with a knife,” Gravely said. “I continue to hear, I think I heard it at the rally last night, the vigil, where someone again said he was unarmed. It is absolutely incontrovertible that Jacob Blake was armed with a knife during this encounter. Incontrovertible. Most incontrovertible, because Jacob Blake in all of the times he spoke to DCI, admits he possessed a knife.”

The media and left-wing activists continued to make the false claim that Blake was “unarmed” on social media even during the press conference where Gravely said that it was not true.

Notable examples of those who promoted the false claim on Twitter:

  • The Washington Post: “Police officers won’t be charged in shooting of Jacob Blake, an unarmed Black man who was shot 7 times in the back in Kenosha, Wis.”
  • CNN Commentator Keith Boykin: “…Kenosha police officer Rusten Sheskey shoots unarmed Black man, Jacob Blake, seven times in the back and faces no charges.”
  • NBC News reporter Priscilla Thompson: “No charges to be brought against the Kenosha police officers who shot Jacob Blake an unarmed black man, per the D.A.’s office. The shooting resulted in Blake being paralyzed.”
  • ABC 7 reporter Nichole Gomez: “Officer who shot unarmed Jacob Blake will not face charges…”
  • Spectrum Bay News 9: “The Kenosha County District Attorney has decided to not file charges against the police officers involved in the shooting of Jacob Blake, an unarmed Black man.”
  • Reporter Brie Jackson: “Blake was shot seven times by police. He was unarmed and getting into a vehicle where his children were inside. Blake survived but is paralyzed. Today’s decision is another example of police shooting an unarmed Black person without criminal consequences.”
  • Reporter Donovan Long: “No officers charged in the shooting of Jacob Blake. He was an unarmed Black man at the time an officer shot him 7 times in the back in Kenosha, Wisconsin.”
  • BuzzFeed News: “Rusten Sheskey shot Blake, an unarmed Black man, in the back seven times, paralyzing him from the waist down and sparking deadly protests in Wisconsin.”

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