ABC’s Michael Strahan released part of an interview with Jacob Blake, who was shot seven times by a Kenosha police officer, in which he expressed limited skepticism toward Blake’s claims.
Strahan’s full interview will air on Nightline. Good Morning America released a nearly seven minute excerpt of Strahan’s interview with Blake. Although Strahan does include information from official police reports, he does not use those to challenge Blake.
— Michael Strahan (@michaelstrahan) January 14, 2021
Many of Blake’s assertions conflict with official reports about the shooting. Blake said he was taking his children to the store to get them away from a fight between their mother and a neighbor. However, the mother of Blake’s children called 911 claiming that Blake took her car keys without permission. The responding police officers were also told that Blake had a felony warrant for domestic abuse and sexual assault, according to Kenosha District Attorney Michael Graveley. The 911 call begins at 29:15.
Blake acknowledges to Strahan that he did have a knife when he was shot. “I realized I had dropped my knife, a little pocket knife, so I picked it up,” he said. “At the time, I wasn’t thinking clearly,” Blake adds. Strahan mentions that the police report from Officer Rusten Sheskey, who shot Blake, says that Blake “drove the knife toward Sheskey’s body.” However, Strahan does not question Blake on the discrepancy on-camera.
Strahan does question why Blake did not comply with police commands before he was shot. “If the police were fighting me, and if they were tasing me, I would stop walking away from them, and they would have my attention,” Strahan said. “I had not left or tried to run at that point,” Blake responds.
Blake’s lawyer, civil rights attorney Ben Crump, rejected the idea that Blake’s criminal record was relevant to the shooting. “If you are a black person in America, and you’re not perfect, then they say ‘Oh, it was justified.'” Blake plead guilty in November 2020 to disorderly conduct as part of a deal in which prosecutors dropped felony sexual assault and misdemeanor charges against him. (RELATED: ‘How About A Word For His Victim?’: Megyn Kelly Unloads On Kamala Harris For Saying She’s ‘Proud’ Of Jacob Blake.)
Blake’s shooting touched off a round of protests which included the cancellation of three NBA playoff games. President Donald Trump ultimately sent National Guard troops in to Kenosha in order to quell violence that caused more than $2 million in public property damage.