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Kenosha Police union disputes ‘misleading narrative’

Empower Wisconsin | Aug. 31, 2020 

The Kenosha Professional Police Association says it wants to correct the “purely fictional depictions” of a police officer-involved shooting of a black man that sparked riots and violence this week in Wisconsin’s fourth-largest city. 

“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 association says in a press release. 

Lawyers for Jacob Blake, the 29-year-old black man shot Sunday afternoon after police responded to a domestic incident, have provided misleading information to the public, “in what can only be considered a play for attention and sympathy,” the police union says. The association also claims the Wisconsin Department of Justice’s Division of Criminal Investigation, led by liberal Attorney Justice Josh Kaul, has omitted “important details that would help to paint a more complete picture of the incident.” 

Media accounts, too, have failed to mention key facts surrounding the attempted arrest of Blake, particularly why police responded to the “domestic incident” in the first place, how many times the suspect resisted arrest, and the weapon he had on him at the time. The image of a police officer shooting Blake in the back several times is startling, but it doesn’t tell the whole story, the police association says. 

“KPPA, including the officers involved, believe the public deserves to know the truth,” the union states. It lays out what it says are the “actual and undisputed facts”: 

  • 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.
  • Mr. Blake actively resisted the officers’ attempt to gain compliance.
  • 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.

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