The Corner

Law & the Courts

Defense Lawyer Offers Cop’s Side of Jacob Blake Shooting

You can read CNN’s report on its exclusive interview here.

This is a key point:

He said he used deadly force during the chaotic encounter because he was afraid Blake, while attempting to flee the scene, was trying to kidnap a child in the backseat of the vehicle.

“He’s got my kid. He’s got my keys,” Sheskey heard a woman say, according to attorney Brendan Matthews, who is representing the officer.


At the time Sheskey opened fire, the lawyer said, Blake held a knife in his hand and twisted his body toward the officer. That action is not visible in the video widely circulating on the internet, in which the view of Blake’s body is partially obscured by the driver’s side door of the SUV.

Matthews said a second officer at the scene, whom he also represents, provided investigators with a similar account of Blake turning toward Sheskey with a knife in his hand immediately prior to the shooting. That officer said he too would have opened fire but did not have a clear angle, according to the lawyer. . . .

Sheskey watched Blake put one child in the car as he arrived but was unaware that two more children were already in the vehicle, Matthews said. Another officer heard a woman yelling that Blake had her children, he said, but did not see the kids in the car.

As I’ve said before, I think it’s going to be very hard to convict the officer in this case. A knife was found in the part of the vehicle where Blake was shot, and the police say he was carrying it as he rounded the SUV. It’s also clear from the video he was carrying some kind of object. Per this new report, the cops also thought he was trying to kidnap a kid in that vehicle. I do wish we had body-camera footage, however, especially to evaluate the claim that Blake turned toward the officer with the knife.


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