‘It hurts to breathe’: Jacob Blake speaks out for first time on pain from police shooting injuries

 'Every twenty-four hours it's pain, nothing but pain’

Oliver O'Connell
New York
Sunday 06 September 2020 16:06
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Jacob Blake speaks from hospital bed says it hurts to breathe

Jacob Blake spoke from his hospital bed on Saturday about the pain he is experiencing since being shot seven times by a police officer in Kenosha, Wisconsin.

In a video, posted to Twitter by his attorney Ben Crump, Mr Blake says: “I got staples in my back, staples in my damn stomach ... every twenty-four hours it's pain, nothing but pain.”

He adds: “It hurts to breathe, it hurts to sleep, it hurts to move from side-to-side, it hurts to eat.”

Mr Blake was left paralysed from the waist down after being shot on 23 August by officer Rusten Sheskey, prompting anti-police brutality demonstrations across the country.

“Please, I’m telling you, change your lives. Stick together, make some money, make everything easier for our people out there, man, because there’s so much time that’s been wasted," Mr Blake added. 

The video was posted a day after Mr Blake was seen for the first time since the shooting. The 29-year-old, father of three made a court appearance via 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. His lawyer, Patrick Cafferty, was seen seated at his side.

Mr Blake was charged after an alleged incident on 3 May, 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 her 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 9 November with jury selection. The complaint does not identify the ex-girlfriend by name.

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

Federal prosecutors and the FBI have opened a civil rights investigation into the incident.

On Thursday, Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden met with Mr Blake’s family and spoke to him by phone.

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