KENOSHA, Wis. (CBS) — Wisconsin State Attorney General Josh Kaul on Wednesday identified the Kenosha officer who shot Jacob Blake on Sunday, and also said a knife was found in his vehicle – but he had no other weapons.
Kaul said on Sunday evening, Kenosha police were called to a residence in the 2800 block of 40th Street after a caller reported her boyfriend was present and was not supposed to be on the premises.
During the incident, officers tried to arrest Blake, Kaul said. Law enforcement tried to use a Taser, but it was not successful, Kaul said.
Blake walked around the vehicle, opened a side door, and leaned forward, Kaul said. Kenosha police Officer Rusten Sheskey fired seven times at Blake while holding onto his shirt, striking Blake in the back, Kaul said.
Kaul said no other officers fired their weapons.
During an investigation, Blake admitted he had a knife in his possession, and a knife was recovered from the driver’s side floorboard of his vehicle, Kaul said. No additional weapons were found.
Blake was airlifted to Froedtert Hospital in Milwaukee. On Tuesday, attorney Ben Crump said Blake was paralyzed from the waist down and it will take a “miracle” for him to fully recover.
“His family is very faithful and they believe in miracles. But the medical diagnosis right now isthat he is paralyzed, and because those bullets severed his spinal cord and shattered some of his vertebrae… it is going to take a miracle for Jacob Blake Jr. to ever walk again,” Crump said Monday.
Kaul also addressed the unrest in Kenosha in recent days, which has involved looting, arson, and clashes with police. On Tuesday night into Wednesday morning, an armed group came into Kenosha, and two people were later shot dead and one was wounded.
Kyle Rittenhouse, 17, has been charged with first-degree intentional homicide.
“What happened yesterday night in Kenosha was despicable,” Kaul said.
Kaul said many of the people involved in the violent unrest were not from Kenosha or even from Wisconsin.
“People who are coming to the community to commit arson or violence, first of all, if they think they are serving some agenda, they are wrong. All they are doing is committing chaos,” Kaul said.
Also speaking at the news conference was Kenosha County District Attorney Michael Graveley.
“We have a community today that is literally on fire – set on fire by the deep divisions that have been fueled by a number of forces that have been brought bare in this case,” he said.
Graveley said those forces included systemic racism, the challenges of modern policing, and social media – which encourages “quick decisions and immediacy and emotional impact instead of thinking about making accurate decisions.”
Graveley said the District Attorney’s office’s task now is to determine whether an officer might be charged, and he said that would happen only if there is a case that can be proved beyond a reasonable doubt.
Anthony Davis, President of the NAACP Kenosha Branch, emphasized a need to come together.
“We want everyone to understand, we have to find a way to deescalate what has been happening around here in our city,” Davis said.
James Hall, president of the Urban League of Racine and Kenosha, said people also need time to heal and be emotional – emphasizing that property can be replaced, but lives cannot.
“If you lived your life with trauma every day, how would you react? How would you feel? What would you do? The time is now to let the community heal. Let them be emotional. Let them express themselves,” he said.
But afterward, Hall said, work needs to begin to bring about change.
As of 10 p.m., CBS 2’s Charlie De Mar reported a couple hundred or so protesters were marching through the streets of Kenosha. The protest was peaceful, with people saying Blake’s name and calling for justice.
The curfew went into effect at 7 p.m. Wednesday in Kenosha, an hour earlier than other recent days.