The Kenosha police officer who shot Jacob Blake last month allegedly told investigators that he believed Blake was armed and about to kidnap a child.
Brendan Matthews, the lawyer for both Officer Rusten Sheskey and the Kenosha police union, said that Sheskey had watched Blake put a child in an SUV as he arrived on scene. Skeskey also heard a woman say, "He's got my kid, he's got my keys," but was unaware of the other two children in the car.
Sheskey and two other officers attempted to restrain Blake, who also had an open warrant for felony sexual assault. They Tased him twice but failed to immobilize him. Video of the incident shows Blake raising a knife and ignoring the officers' commands to drop the weapon as he made his way around the vehicle toward the driver's side door.
Matthews says that Sheskey opened fire when Blake turned toward him with the knife.
"The question would have been ‘Why didn't you do something?'" said Matthews of Sheskey if he had allowed Blake to leave with the children.
Sheskey then worked with his fellow officers to administer first aid to Blake until an ambulance arrived. Blake survived the shooting, but is paralyzed from the waist down.
Matthews also defended Skeskey's 10-year record as a police officer, his service as a mentor for at-risk youth and as a lifeguard, and his desire to help people. He said Sheskey has been forced to leave his house and get rid of his phone due to the backlash he has received in the last month.