Former Secret Service agent and NYPD officer Dan Bongino broke down last week’s shooting of Jacob Blake by Kenosha police during a Fox News “Watters’ World” segment Saturday night.
Before bringing Bongino on, Fox News host Jesse Watters gave a synopsis of the police shooting that has sparked the latest series of riots and demonstrations.
“Now the officers had responded to a domestic dispute by a woman who said her boyfriend was illegally on the premises,” Watters explained. “He had taken her keys and wasn’t giving them back.”
“Police were alerted that he had an active warrant out for a sexual assault and when they arrived on the scene they tried to taken into custody,” he continued. “Blake resisted and began assaulting the officers. The officer tased him but that didn’t work. He escaped, opened his car door and reached for something.”
As Blake reached into his car, an officer fired seven rounds, hitting Blake in the back. The Wisconsin Department of Justice revealed last week, after violence had already erupted, that Blake told police he had a knife in his possession.
“When he goes into the vehicle, he didn’t go into the vehicle like he was opening the door to go get in and hit the gas,” Watters told Bongino. “He was reaching for something down low. Now as a law enforcement officer, after you have been assaulted and the suspect is now moving into the car and reaching for something down low, what is the calculation for discharging your weapon?”
“Yeah, this is the critical question, and the only question here from the officer’s perspective, Jesse, from both an administrative, in other words, did he follow department guidelines for the application of use of force, potentially deadly use of force?” Bongino explained.
The former Secret Service agent described the difference between legal and administrative guidelines.
“Did the officer who engaged with his firearm believe either his life or the life of others were at risk or was there a risk of serious physical injury?” he asked. “Now that we have these additional facts, viewing it from that lens the case becomes a little clearer.” (RELATED: ‘Shame On You!’: Leo Terrell And Geraldo Spar Over NBA Protests And The Jacob Blake Shooting)
Bongino went on to explain the difference between a police officer and a civilian engaged in such a shooting, because the police have the ability to check warrants and would know Blake’s background.
“This all plays into the calculus,” said the Fox News contributor. “Did the officer believe he was in fact endangered? He knows things a civilian doesn’t. Combine that with the noncompliance, which is obvious. He had already been tased, the subject. He’s not complying. There was a 911 call. This wasn’t a random encounter, and then there is an allegation that there was a weapon in the vehicle that could have caused serious physical injury and yes, you get a scenario where the facts start to become more clear why he may have felt that way.”