Jacob Blake’s attorney Benjamin Crump said Blake’s family wanted accountability and justice after the 29-year-old was shot dead by police in Kenosha, Wisconsin, during a videotaped confrontation last month.
Crump made the comments on America’s News HQ on Sunday, two days after Blake video appeared in court for the first time since he was shot in the back, which reportedly left him paralyzed from the waist down.
From his hospital bed, Blake pleaded guilty of no previous crime, third-degree sexual assault, and criminal offenses and disorderly behavior.
Blake is accused in court documents of sexually assaulting a woman in her home on May 3, stealing her Ford Explorer and debit card, and withdrawing two fraudulent ATMs for $ 500, WGN9 reported.
Blake has attracted national attention after cell phone footage captured the moment he was shot seven times in the back by police on Aug. 23, as officers responded to a woman who reported domestic abuse.
Woman, 74, slapped in the face and robbed by a group of teenagers, police say
“You can see from the video that Jacob Blake Jr. poses no threat to the officers as he steps away from them and tries to get into his vehicle and get his three young boys out of an inconsistent situation when the police pull off his shirt grabbed and shot him in the back seven times at close range and paralyzed him with his 8-year-old, 5-year-old and 3-year-old sons, all of whom are watching this happen to their father, “said Crump on Sunday.
“And so, from that moment on, his family prayed for his health and recovery that he would simply survive such excessive and brutal use of force.”
He added that Blake’s family also “hope there will be accountability because it appears there is [an] Epidemic in which black people who have put no one in danger continue to be killed. “
According to Crump, Blake was trying to resolve an argument when the police arrived.
But police say the first 911 call was from Blake, who reportedly tried to get keys to a vehicle that did not belong to him. Officials responding said they knew Blake had an open warrant for sexual assault, according to local news agency WBAY.
The shooting sparked protests and riots in Kenosha after months of nationwide demonstrations following the death of George Floyd in police custody in Minneapolis on May 25. The video in this case showed an officer kneeling on Floyd’s neck for more than eight minutes.
“I’ve got clamps in my back, clamps in my damn stomach, you don’t want to have to worry about it, 24 hours, every 24 hours it’s pain,” Blake said from his hospital bed on Friday.
“It hurts to breathe, it hurts to sleep, it hurts to move back and forth, it hurts to eat,” he added.
Host Arthel Neville pointed out other comments from Blake from his hospital bed on Friday.
“Please, I’m telling you, change your life out there,” Blake said. “We can stick together, make some money, make things easier for our people out here, man, because so much time has been wasted.”
JACOB BLAKE APPEARS FIRST COURT ON HOSPITAL BED VIDEO
Neville then asked Crump, who also represents the Floyd family, who Blake “spoke” to with this comment.
In response, Crump said it was “obviously” an “emotional statement”. He added that “Jacob is a good young man.”
Crump then said that there are “all of these rumors and false information out there” about Blake.
“Jacob Blake Jr. has never been convicted of a crime in his life,” he said.
Neville pointed out that while Blake was not convicted, court documents reportedly accused Blake of sexually assaulting a woman in her home. She also admitted that this “does not justify what happened two weeks ago,” referring to the police shooting.
“He has never been convicted of a crime in his life. We are confident he will not be found guilty of these recent allegations if they are even taken to the courtroom once it all comes out, ”Crump replied.
“What we do know, however, is that what happened in this video was unjustified, and it happens again and again that black people are shot or killed by the police in an attempt to assassinate their character in order to show the unjustified acts of the To justify law enforcement agencies. “
“We have to say that once we have killed or injured people, we cannot demonize people with color,” he continued. “We have to say that we have the same justice in America and we have to treat black citizens as we treat white citizens.”
“There cannot be two judicial systems in America; there must be equal justice for all citizens of America,” Crump continued.
Last month, the US Department of Justice announced that it had opened a federal investigation into the shooting of Blake. The FBI will work with the Wisconsin Division of Criminal Investigation and other state agencies to conduct the investigation and will be overseen by prosecutors from the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the Civil Rights Division’s Criminal Investigation Department, according to a press release from the U.S. Attorney General, Eastern District of Wisconsin.
The press release states: “The federal investigation will run parallel to the state authorities and will exchange information with them to the extent permitted by law.”
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A preparatory conference is scheduled for October 21, the selection of which is planned for November 9.
Fox News’ Vandana Rambaran contributed to this report.