"I said, 'Daddy loves you no matter what,'" Blake recalls

By Steve Helling
January 14, 2021 12:30 PM
Jacob Blake
| Credit: Ben Crump/Twitter

Jacob Blake is speaking out about the August incident in which a police officer shot him in the back several times in front of two of his children. The shooting left him paralyzed from the waist down.

Speaking to Good Morning America, Blake recalled lying on the ground after being shot -- and making eye contact with his sons. "All I remember at that point was kinda leaning back, looking at my boys," Blake told Michael Strahan in an exclusive interview.

"I said, 'Daddy loves you no matter what,'" he recalls. "It was the last thing I said to them at that point. I thought it was gonna be the last thing I say to them. Thank God it wasn't."

Blake, who is Black, was hospitalized on Aug. 23 after Rusten Sheskey, a white police officer at the Kenosha Police Department, shot him multiple times in the back while responding to what authorities said was a domestic disturbance. His children were in the car and witnessed the shooting.

Sheskey and two other officers at the scene, Vincent Arenas and Brittany Meronek, were placed on administrative leave.

Blake, 29, spent six weeks in the hospital before being moved to a spinal injury rehabilitation center in Chicago. He remains paralyzed from the waist down.

Blake's shooting was captured in bystander video that went viral, sparking numerous protests over police brutality and racial injustice. Two people were killed in a Kenosha demonstration on Aug. 25 and the suspect, 17-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse, was subsequently charged with homicide.

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The protests followed earlier demonstrations over the killings of other Black citizens including George FloydBreonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery.

Last week, Kenosha County District Attorney Michael Graveley announced that Shesky would not face criminal charges in the shooting.

During a news conference, Graveley said the officer would be able to successfully argue self-defense in front a jury. He said that his decision was based on evidence that could not be seen in cellphone video of the incident.

To help combat systemic racism, consider learning from or donating to these organizations:Campaign Zero works to end police brutality in America through research-proven strategies.ColorofChange.org works to make the government more responsive to racial disparities.National Cares Mentoring Movement provides social and academic support to help Black youth succeed in college and beyond.