The lawyer for the Wisconsin police officer who shot Jacob Blake said that in the chaotic moments before the shooting, Kenosha Police Department Officer Rusten Sheskey believed he was intervening in an attempted kidnapping.
“He’s got my kid. He’s got my keys,” Sheskey heard a woman yell, according to attorney Brendan Matthews, who is representing Sheskey.
Matthews told CNN that had Sheskey let Blake to drive off with a child in the backseat under those circumstances, “the question would have been ‘why didn’t you do something?'”
Sheskey has been placed on administrative leave while the Wisconsin Department of Justice reviews the shooting. No charges against Sheskey have yet been filed.
Matthews said he was speaking to rebut the “incomplete, inaccurate” narrative that portrays Blake as unarmed and claims he was not a threat to police.
Sheskey fired as Blake, holding a knife in his hand, turned toward police, Matthews said. He added that the initial video of the encounter does not show this because the driver’s side door of the SUV Blake had entered masked the details.
The second officer at the scene corroborated the scenario, Matthews said. That officer did not fire because he did not have a clear angle at which to do so, according to the attorney.
Police were summoned in response to what was labeled “family trouble.” The woman who called police said Blake took her keys and did not return them.
Sheskey saw Blake put one child in the vehicle, but did not know others were already inside, Matthews told CNN.
A video of the scene showed officers wrestling with Blake on the passenger’s side of the vehicle before he shrugged them off and circled the vehicle.
A Kenosha police union statement has said police used a Taser on Blake twice, but without effect.
After Blake refused orders to drop the knife, Sheskey fired, Matthews said. Sheskey ceased firing once he believed Blake “no longer posed an imminent threat,” according to the attorney.
The Wisconsin Department of Justice has said Blake admitted he had a knife in his possession. His family has insisted Blake was unarmed at the time of the shooting.
Matthews said police provided first aid to Blake.
Contrary to published reports, he said they found no wounds in Blake’s back. Instead, Matthews said they found wounds to Blake’s arms, side and abdomen.
Matthews said Sheskey became a police officer to help others, not injure them
“He didn’t go to work wanting to shoot anybody. He went to work trying to help people. That’s what he does every day,” Matthews said. “He absolutely did not want this to happen.”
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