Police confirmed on Friday that Jacob Blake, the 29-year-old shot by a Kenosha police officer responding to a “domestic incident,” is handcuffed to his hospital bed because he was wanted on an arrest warrant at the time of the incident.
“I hate it that he was laying in that bed with the handcuff onto the bed,” Blake’s father said Thursday, according to the Chicago Sun-Tines. “He can’t go anywhere. Why do you have him cuffed to the bed?”
Blake is reportedly paralyzed from the waist down, but it is not yet known if the injury is permanent.
The revelation drew ire across social media, prompting the Kenosha County Sheriff’s office to explain that Blake had felony warrants for his arrest from crimes committed prior to the police-involved altercation. He was wanted on charges of sexual assault, criminal trespassing, and disorderly conduct, as a court records show.
“Jacob Blake has felony warrants for his arrest from crimes he committed prior to the shooting incident,” Kenosha County Sheriff’s Department spokesman Sgt. David Wright said, according to CBS Chicago.
“Anyone with this classification level that we are guarding in the hospital would be treated in this manner,” Wright added:
Kenosha Co. Sheriff's office confirms Jacob Blake cuffed to his hospital bed, b/c he was wanted on an arrest warrant at the time police shot him. "Anyone with this classification level that we are guarding in the hospital would be treated in this manner." https://t.co/9noTokrbM6 https://t.co/Am2sggALpN
— CBS Chicago (@cbschicago) August 28, 2020
The Wisconsin Department of Justice (DOJ) Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) is currently investigating the officer-involved incident. The DOJ revealed in an update on Friday that two officers, Kenosha police officers Rusten Sheskey and Vincent Arenas, attempted to deploy their tasers to subdue Blake during the arrest. Neither were successful, at which point Blake “walked around his vehicle, opened the driver’s side door, and leaned forward.”
Sheskey, who has served with the Kenosha Police Department for seven years, was the only officer to fire his weapon.
Kenosha Police Officer Brittany Meronek was also present at the time of the incident.
An eyewitness of the altercation said that police told Blake to “drop the knife,” which Blake later admitted to having in his possession.
“DCI agents recovered a knife from the driver’s side floorboard of Mr. Blake’s vehicle,” the Wisconsin DOJ added.