Facts emerging on Jacob Blake shooting contradict the narrative that sparked riots
It is stunning how many recent riots over purported racial injustice have been based on phony stories. Ferguson, Missouri was pillaged and burned over the false contention that Michael Brown was gunned down with his hands up (the Obama Justice Department confirmed that he was struggling to kill the police officer arresting him for a strong-arm robbery he had just committed by grabbing his gun when he was fatally shot). Baltimore was sacked over the contention that Freddie Gray was assassinated by police officers deliberately tossing him around in a police van (a jury acquitted the officers).
Just this past week, rioters looted downtown Minneapolis on the false story that police had gunned down a suspect who had, in fact, committed suicide — which was captured on surveillance video. Yet Target, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Nordstrom were still looted.
Most damaging of all, three months ago, the first videos released to the public created the impression that George Floyd was asphyxiated by Officer Derek Chauvin of the Minneapolis Police, whose knee on his neck prevented him from breathing. That account has now been proven to be false, yet it is still embraced by nearly all of the media, the public, and political figures (including Rudy Giuliani, whose address to the RNC referred to the "unforgivable police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis"). The facts of the case have been suppressed with Minnesota's Attorney General Keith Ellison delaying their release, but we now have body cam footage of the entire encounter of Floyd and the medical examiner's report that indicated he had a fatal overdose of fentanyl in his system, which caused him to complain multiple times, "I can't breathe" while sitting upright in the police car from which he bolted, leading to his being pinned down. (For the shocking details, you and Rudy Giuliani should read George Parry's "Who Killed George Floyd?")
We can now add the riots in Kenosha and beyond to the list of race riots sparked by assumptions of police behavior contradicted by the facts. As with George Floyd, the impressions created by the first videos released to the public were misleading and highly inflammatory. In considering the facts that follow, ask yourself what you would do if you were charged with the task that faced the Kenosha police officers.
The Kenosha Police were called to a residence not to deal with a domestic dispute in which Jacob Blake was a peacemaker, but rather to arrest Blake. They were called by his girlfriend and the mother of three of his children. The Wisconsin Department of Justice, which is investigating the shooting, writes:
Kenosha Police Department officers were dispatched to a residence in the 2800 block of 40th Street after a female caller reported that her boyfriend was present and was not supposed to be on the premises.
That same female had made a complaint against Blake about four months ago that led to the issuance of a warrant for his arrest. Cited in the warrant were her allegations of trespass, domestic abuse, and sexual assault. There were some stark parallels to the situation facing the KPD in the current instance that led to Blake's shooting:
On May 3, 2020 Kenosha Police Officer Raiche, in full uniform and operating marked squad#3343, responded to 2805 40th Street Unit D, City and County of Kenosha, state of Wisconsin for a report of an ex-boyfriend who had broken into the residence and stole vehicle keys, a vehicle and a debit card from the victim before fleeing. (snip)
LNB stated she was upset but collected herself and ran after the defendant out the front door and then realized her vehicle was missing. LNB ran back inside to her purse, which was on the kitchen counter and checked it, quickly realizing her key to her truck (Ford Explorer 2002), a black individual key and the only key for the vehicle and her Great Lakes Debit Card were missing.
Compare this situation in May with the undisputed facts released by the Kenosha Professional Police Association (the union representing the cops):
- The officers were dispatched to the location due to a complaint that Mr. Blake was attempting to steal the caller's keys/vehicle.
- Officers were aware of Mr. Blake's open warrant for felony sexual assault (3rd degree) before they arrived on scene.
- Mr. Blake was not breaking up a fight between two females when officers arrived on scene.
- The silver SUV seen in the widely circulated video was not Mr. Blake's vehicle.
- Mr. Blake was not unarmed. He was armed with a knife. The officers did not see the knife initially. 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 officers issued repeated commands for Mr. Blake to drop the knife. He did not comply.
- The officers initially tried to speak with Mr. Blake, but he was uncooperative.
- The officers then began issuing verbal commands to Mr. Blake, but he was non-complaint.
- The officers next went "hands-on" with Mr. Blake, so as to gain compliance and control.
- Mr. Blake actively resisted the officers' attempt to gain compliance.
- The officers then disengaged and drew their tasers, issuing commands to Mr. Blake that he would be tased if he did not comply.
- Based on his non-compliance, one officer tased Mr. Blake. The taser did not incapacitate Mr. Blake.
- The officers once more went "hands-on" with Mr. Blake; again, trying to gain control of the escalating situation.
- Mr. Blake forcefully fought with the officers, including putting one of the officers in a headlock.
- 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.
- Based on the inability to gain compliance and control after using verbal, physical and less-lethal means, the officers drew their firearms.
- Mr. Blake continued to ignore the officers' commands, even with the threat of lethal force now present.
So what should the officers have done, confronted with Blake, armed with a deadly weapon and attempting to drive away the vehicle with three young children in it? The fact that he was able shrug off two tasers suggests he may have been on some mind-altering substance like methamphetamine, PCP, or angel dust. The children reasonably could be believed to be at risk in a vehicle fleeing arrest.
Steve Sailer alleges:
Five years earlier, Blake had been involved in a similar resisting-arrest incident in which, after pulling a gun in a bar dispute, he was pulled over and charged the police. Back then, it turned out that he did have a gun in his SUV.
The officer who shot Blake, Rusten Shesky, perhaps should have stopped with one shot. Certainly, seven shots seems like a lot. But Blake had already demonstrated his ability to remain a threat after being tased twice and had physically overcome officers, escaping a headlock. With a deadly weapon at hand, the risks to the officer and the children were not insignificant.
One final note: The woman who swore out the complaint against Blake that led to the warrant for his arrest, the mother of three of his children who in her complaint "stated she and the defendant have three children together but have never resided together in the eight years they have been on and off," is named Laquisha N. Booker (LNB in the warrant). Now that she is represented by Benjamin Crump and will be suing Kenosha for damages, she is calling herself his "fiancé."
Hat tip: David Paulin
Photo credit: YouTube screen grab.