Jacob Blake seen for the first time since police shooting for court appearance

Father of three pleads not guilty to assaulting sons’ mother

Andrew Buncombe
Seattle
Friday 04 September 2020 19:21
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Jacob Blake seen for the first time since police shooting for court appearance

Jacob Blake has been seen for the first time since his shooting by a white police officer – an event that sparked new protests across the country.

The 29-year-old father of three, who was shot seven times as he sought to climb into his car in Kenosha, Wisconsin, made a court appearance by video link, for charges not relating to the incident.

Wearing a light blue shirt and a gold tie, Mr Blake sat up in bed to enter a not guilty plea through his lawyer, to charges of sexual assault, criminal trespass and disorderly conduct.

It was the first time Mr Blake had been seen since he was shot in the back on August 23 by officer Rusten Sheskey. His lawyer, Patrick Cafferty, was seen seated at his side.

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Mr Blake was charged after an alleged incident on May 3, and based on statements given by his ex-girlfriend and mother of his three children. She told police that Mr Blake broke into her home, and sexually assaulted before stealing her truck and debit card.

Mr Blake raised his hand to greet Loren Keating, a Kenosha County judicial court commissioner, when addressed, saying “Yes sir”, when asked if he could hear clearly and whether he understood the terms of his $10,000 signature bond.

“The state recognises that these are serious charges but also that the defendant has serious injuries and he’s recovering at the hospital,” said Zeke Wiedenfeld, a prosecutor.

The court set the trial to begin on November 9 with jury selection. The complaint does not identify the ex-girlfriend by name.

Video of the shooting of Mr Blake, with his three young children in the black of his vehicle, triggered protests in several cities in the US.

The Wisconsin Department of Justice Division of Criminal Investigation has launched an investigation into the shooting.

Additional reporting by Reuters

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