The Kenosha Professional Police Association released a statement on Friday, detailing the timeline and key details of the Jacob Blake shooting. Wisconsin State Senator Steve Nass released the information through KPPA's attorney Brendan Matthews.
"The recent officer-involved shooting in Kenosha has produced a variety of feelings and narratives; most of which are wholly inaccurate," Matthews said. "The purely fictional depiction of events coming from those without direct knowledge of what actually occurred is incredibly harmful, and provides no benefit to anyone whatsoever, other than to perpetuate a misleading narrative."
Matthews accused the lawyers of Mr. Blake and "others" of providing "false and misleading 'facts' to the public, in what can only be considered a ploy for attention and sympathy."
The statement includes the following list detailing what it calls "actual and undisputed facts" of the incident:
- The officers were dispatched to the location due to a complaint that Mr. Blake was attempting to steal the caller's keys/vehicle.
- Officers were aware of Mr. Blake's open warrant for felony sexual assault (3rd degree) before they arrived on scene.
- Mr. Blake was not breaking up a fight between two females when officers arrived on scene.
- The silver SUV seen in the widely circulated video was not Mr. Blake's vehicle.
- Mr. Blake was not unarmed. He was armed with a knife. The officers did not see the knife initially. The officers first saw him holding the knife while they were on the passenger side of the vehicle. The "main" video circulating on the internet shows Mr. Blake with the knife in his left hand when he rounds the front of the car. The officers issued repeated commands for Mr. Blake to drop the knife. He did not comply.
- The officers initially tried to speak with Mr. Blake, but he was uncooperative.
- The officers then began issuing verbal commands to Mr. Blake, but he was non-complaint.
- The officers next went "hands-on" with Mr. Blake, so as to gain compliance and control.
- The officers then disengaged and drew their tasers, issuing commands to Mr. Blake that he would be tased if he did not comply.
- Based on his non-compliance, one officer tased Mr. Blake. The taser did not incapacitate Mr. Blake.
- The officers once more went "hands-on" with Mr. Blake; again, trying to gain control of the escalating situation.
- Mr. Blake forcefully fought with the officers, including putting one of the officers in a headlock.
- A second taser (from a different officer than had deployed the initial taser) was then deployed on Mr. Blake. It did not appear to have any impact on him.
- Based on the inability to gain compliance and control after using verbal, physical and less lethal means, the officers drew their firearms.
- Mr. Blake continued to ignore the officers' commands, even with the threat of lethal force now present.
"The foregoing facts need to be added to the story to correct what is currently out there," Matthews said. "[T]he officers involved gave Mr. Blake numerous opportunities to comply. He chose not to. None of the officers involved wished for things to transpire the way it did. It is my hope that truth and transparency will help begin and aid in the healing process."
Blake's uncle called the police union's version of the incident "garbage" and "insulting."
"We're not going to allow [KPPA] to come back a week later and talk about some type of weapon being involved after they temporarily paralyzed my nephew," Blake said. "As his uncle, that's insulting."
Blake family attorney Patrick Salvi Jr. said Jacob Blake never posed an "imminent threat."
"When [KPPA] say[s] that Mr. Blake initiated the physicality (and) Mr. Blake put an officer in a headlock, that does not comport with the video from the passenger's side of the car that shows police essentially beating him," Salvi said.