Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) raged Thursday following reports of authorities handcuffing a partially paralyzed Jacob Blake to a hospital bed, voicing her opposition to a system “where the perpetrators of attempted murder get to handcuff their victim” and concluded that “you can’t reform this.”
“How the f**k do you handcuff Jacob Blake that you paralyzed to a hospital bed after you shot him in the back seven times?” Tlaib asked.
“I oppose a system where the perpetrators of attempted murder get to handcuff their victim. No system should have this much power,” she continued, and said, “You can’t reform this”:
How the f**k do you handcuff Jacob Blake that you paralyzed to a hospital bed after you shot him in the back seven times?
I oppose a system where the perpetrators of attempted murder get to handcuff their victim. No system should have this much power. You can't reform this.
— Rashida Tlaib (@RashidaTlaib) August 27, 2020
Blake’s father, while detailing his recent visit with his son, revealed that Blake was handcuffed to the hospital bed, despite being partially paralyzed.
“I hate it that he was laying in that bed with the handcuff onto the bed,” he said. “He can’t go anywhere. Why do you have him cuffed to the bed?”
Kenosha County Sheriff’s Department spokesman Sgt. David Wright responded to the mounting criticisms, explaining that Blake was under an active arrest warrant at the time of the altercation.
“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,” he explained.
Court records show the warrant issued July 7 was for offenses including sexual abuse, disorderly conduct, and criminal trespassing.
According to the Wisconsin Department of Justice (DOJ), three police officers were present during the August 23 incident, prompted by a call from a woman who “reported that her boyfriend was present and was not supposed to be on the premises.” Two police officers deployed their tasers during Blake’s arrest, but the attempts ultimately failed.
The latest update from the Wisconsin DOJ reads in part:
Mr. Blake walked around his vehicle, opened the driver’s side door, and leaned forward. While holding onto Mr. Blake’s shirt, Officer Rusten Sheskey fired his service weapon 7 times. Officer Sheskey fired the weapon into Mr. Blake’s back. No other officer fired their weapon. Kenosha Police Department does not have body cameras, therefore the officers were not wearing body cameras.
The shooting officer, Kenosha Police Officer Rusten Sheskey, has been a law enforcement officer with Kenosha Police Department for seven years. Kenosha Police Officer Vincent Arenas has served with Kenosha Police Department since February 2019, with prior service with the United States Capitol Police Department. Also present was Kenosha Police Officer Brittany Meronek who joined Kenosha Police Department in January of this year.
Authorities later recovered a knife from Blake’s vehicle — a weapon he admitted to possessing.
The incident has sparked violent riots across Kenosha night after night, prompting Gov. Tony Evers (D) to request additional assistance from other states.
Tlaib has remained an outspoken supporter of the nationwide protests, telling Vanity Fair that this current “moment” gives more credibility to why she ran for office.
“When I see this movement on the street—that’s where transformative change really starts and it’s hitting us right here in the halls of Congress,” she said, calling it “powerful” to watch.