“I didn’t want to be the next George Floyd”: Jacob Blake gives first interview to GMA

In this photo from Kenosha County Court video, Jacob Blake answers questions during a hearing...
In this photo from Kenosha County Court video, Jacob Blake answers questions during a hearing on Friday, Sept. 4, 2020, in Kenosha, Wis. Blake, who appeared remotely, waived his right to a preliminary hearing, and then pleaded not guilty to three charges that were filed against him back in July.(Kenosha County Court via AP)
Published: Jan. 14, 2021 at 6:08 AM CST
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KENOSHA, Wis. (WBAY) - Jacob Blake, the man shot seven times by a Kenosha Police officer, gave his first interview to Good Morning America’s Michael Strahan Thursday.

Blake, partially paralyzed and in a wheelchair, told Strahan, “I didn’t wanna be the next George Floyd. I didn’t wanna die.”

“I kind of went limp, and all I remember at that point was kind of leaning back, looking at my boys. I said ‘Daddy loves you, no matter what.’ I thought it was going to be the last thing I’d say to them. Thank God, it wasn’t,” Blake tells Michael Strahan.

On Aug. 23, 2020, Blake was shot seven times by Kenosha Police Officer Rusten Sheskey as Blake attempted to get into an SUV with his children in the back seat. Police had been called to the address in Kenosha for a domestic disturbance call. Police say Blake resisted arrest.

Cell phone video of the shooting triggered several nights of violence and destruction in the city.

Kenosha County’s District Attorney declined to file charges against the officer, saying Sheskey acted in self defense.

Investigators said Blake had a knife on him, and Sheskey thought Blake was going to stab him.

“I had not left or tried to run at that point. That when they tased me, I had my hands up,” Blake told Strahan.

Sheskey’s attorney says Blake was given every opportunity to comply, but he chose not to.

Blake has previous arrests for attempting to flee police and resisting. His attorney, Benjamin Crump, says Blake’s past should not be a factor in this case.

“If you are a black person in America and you’re not perfect, they say, oh, it was justified. It’s like our children have to be angels,” Crump says.

No officers were wearing body cameras during the shooting.

“I do not believe the state ... would be able to prove that the privilege of self-defense is not available,” said DA Michael Graveley.

A federal civil rights investigation continues.

Blake was recently convicted of two counts of Disorderly Conduct - Domestic Abuse. A charge of 3rd Degree Sexual Assault was dismissed as part of a plea agreement. These charges are not related to the events on Aug. 23.

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