The Kenosha Professional Police Association released a statement Friday contradicting key details of the Jacob Blake shooting as purported by the media.
Communicating through attorney Brendan Matthews, the police union released a timeline of the Blake incident to correct what it called a “wholly inaccurate” depiction by the media and Wisconsin Department of Justice.
“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,” the statement explained.
“Unfortunately, even the incident update from the Wisconsin Department of Justice … is riddled with incomplete information, and omits important details that would help to paint a more complete picture of the incident,” the union continued.
What are the facts, according to the union?
The union said officers were dispatched because a 911 caller claimed Blake was “attempting to steal [her] keys/vehicle.” According to state investigators, the caller said Blake “was not supposed to be on the premises.”
Police dispatched to the scene were “aware of Mr. Blake’s open warrant for felony sexual assault,” the union said, adding that Blake was not intervening in a domestic dispute like many reports claim.
Investigators with the Wisconsin Department of Justice said Blake had a knife “in his possession,” which they claimed was recovered in the floorboard of his vehicle, the SUV seen in the viral video.
But according to the union, Blake was “armed with a knife,” and the vehicle was not his.
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 union went on to explain that officers attempted to control the situation by speaking to Blake and issuing verbal commands, but Blake was allegedly “uncooperative” and “non-compliant.”
The union claimed Blake “forcefully fought with the officers, including putting one of the officers in a headlock.” Multiple attempts to “incapacitate” Blake through the use of a taser were unsuccessful, they said.
“Based on the inability to gain compliance and control after using verbal, physical and less lethal means, the officers drew their firearms,” the union explained. “Mr. Blake continued to ignore the officers’ commands, even with the threat of lethal force now present.”
How did Blake’s family respond?
Justin Blake, the uncle of Jacob Blake, called the police union’s version of events “garbage” and “insulting,” CNN reported.