Police Union In Kenosha, Wis., Provides Account Of Jacob Blake Shooting

Aug 28, 2020
Originally published on August 28, 2020 10:22 pm

Updated at 10:19 p.m. ET

The union representing police officers in Kenosha, Wis., have provided to NPR what they say is a detailed account of the moments leading up to the shooting of Jacob Blake, who was severely wounded by a police officer Sunday.

That account says Blake was armed with a knife and "forcefully fought" with the officers who tried to arrest him, putting one of them in a headlock. The statement from the Kenosha Professional Police Association also says officers twice shot Tasers at Blake but these failed to subdue him.

A 20-second video of Blake's shooting, filmed by a bystander, has been viewed millions of times on social media. But its short duration fails to show the preceding interactions between police and Blake. Benjamin Crump, a lawyer representing Blake, has said that his client had been trying to break up a domestic dispute. Authorities in Wisconsin have released few details about that incident.

The police union statement, emailed Friday to NPR, says "most" narratives about the shooting "are wholly inaccurate" and "purely fictional," including information from Blake's attorneys. The union also says a statement released by the Wisconsin Department of Justice's Division of Criminal Investigation, the agency leading the investigation into the police shooting, is "riddled with incomplete information."

In a Friday interview on CNN, one of the attorneys for Blake disputed the police union's account, calling its version of events "overblown." The lawyer said police officers who responded to the call were the aggressors and immediately became physical with Blake upon arriving at the scene.

Meanwhile, Blake is no longer handcuffed to his hospital bed in Milwaukee. Kenosha Police Chief Daniel Miskinis told reporters Friday that Blake was "being guarded because he's under arrest" on an outstanding warrant for third-degree sexual assault.

Patrick Cafferty, a lawyer representing Blake, said a $500 bail was posted Friday, allowing officers to remove the handcuffs and no longer guard the 29-year-old. Two officers had been guarding Blake since he was hospitalized after the shooting.

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