New evidence presented in the shooting of Jacob Blake by a Kenosha Police officer suggests that not only was that shooting totally lawful and justified, it may have saved several lives. Blake was armed with a knife, lunging for what officers reasonably believed was another weapon, and potentially attempting to steal his ex-girlfriend's car and abduct their children.
"The lawyers for Mr. Blake, among others, have continued to provide false and misleading 'facts' to the public, in what can only be considered a ploy for attention and sympathy," said Kenosha Professional Police Association attorney Brendan Matthews. "Unfortunately, even the incident update from the Wisconsin Department of Justice, Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI)--the agency charged with investigating the incident independently--is riddled with incomplete information, and omits important details that would help to paint a more complete picture of the incident."
DCI on Wednesday confirmed that "Kenosha Police Department officers were dispatched" to Blake's ex-girlfriend's home after she said Blake "was present and was not supposed to be on the premises." Officers tried to arrest Blake and even "deployed a taser to attempt to stop Mr. Blake, however the taser was not successful in stopping" him. Blake then walked around what was presumed to be his SUV and when he "leaned forward" into it, an officer shot him seven times.
"During the investigation following the initial incident, Mr. Blake admitted that he had a knife in his possession," DCI continued. "DCI agents recovered a knife from the driver’s side floorboard of Mr. Blake’s vehicle."
DCI, which is the agency tasked with investigating the incident, refused to release any further details.
911 dispatch audio, however, reveals that Blake had stolen his ex-girlfriend's keys with the obvious intent of stealing her SUV. This would not be the first time. In May, he allegedly stole the same vehicle as well as the woman's ATM card before making two fraudulent $500 withdrawals.
According to a criminal complaint against Blake, he broke into her home, surprised her as she lay in a bed next to their young son, and told her "I want my s***." As she "lay there, on her back, the defendant, suddenly and without warning, reached his hand between her legs, penetrated her vaginally with a finger, pulled it out and sniffed it, and said, 'Smells like you've been with other men.'"
Blake faces charges of third degree sexual assault, criminal trespass, and disorderly conduct, all with domestic abuse modifiers. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of more than a decade in prison.
"Officers were aware of Mr. Blake’s open warrant for felony sexual assault before they arrived on scene," Matthews said in a statement released on behalf of the Kenosha Professional Police Officers Association.
In other words, they were aware that a violent sexual assault suspect was again tormenting his alleged victim. Making matters worse, he was armed with a knife.
"The officers did not see the knife initially," Matthews explained. "The officers first saw him holding the knife while they were on the passenger side of the vehicle. The 'main' video circulating on the internet shows Mr. Blake with the knife in his left hand when he rounds the front of the car."
The knife is clearly visible at exactly seven seconds into the video, and officers can be heard yelling "Drop the knife!"
The Kenosha Professional Police Association notes that before the video started, Blake was so violent with officers (even putting one "in a headlock), that they were forced to tase him twice.
"The taser did not incapacitate Mr. Blake," Matthews said, so "a second taser (from a different officer than had deployed the initial taser) was then deployed on Mr. Blake. It did not appear to have any impact on him."
At that point, Blake pulled out his knife and officers immediately drew their firearms.
"The officers issued repeated commands for Mr. Blake to drop the knife," Matthews said. "He did not comply."
Instead, he forcefully walked around the SUV with an obvious intent to escalate the situation further. Since this was not his vehicle and three children were inside, it is entirely possible that he was attempting to kidnap them, to use the vehicle as a weapon and run the officers over, or to retrieve another weapon from inside.
When Blake opened the door and made a sudden lunge inside as if to reach for another weapon, an officer fired seven times--enough to, as he was trained, stop the threat Blake posed to him, the other officers, and the children in the vehicle.
"As the uncontested facts above demonstrate, the officers involved gave Mr. Blake numerous opportunities to comply," Matthews explained. "He chose not to. None of the officers involved wished for things to transpire the way it did. It is my hope that truth and transparency will help begin and aid in the healing process."