Jacob Blake no longer handcuffed to his hospital bed, attorney says

Jacob Blake is no longer handcuffed to his hospital bed in Milwaukee County, his family’s attorney, Patrick Cafferty, told CBS News on Friday. Blake was paralyzed Sunday when he was shot in the back seven times by Kenosha Officer Rusten Sheskey.

Cafferty said an underlying arrest warrant for Blake has been vacated. The Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Office, which assisted Kenosha police, said Blake was released from custody and deputies were no longer guarding Blake after he posted bond for the warrant.

Police on Friday morning told CBS News that Blake had been wanted on previous felony warrants and that it is sheriff’s department policy to restrain people accused of felonies while in custody, even if they are hospitalized. “Our policy indicates that all people in custody outside of our jail facility shall be secured with restraints,” said Lieutenant Eric Klinkhammer.

Sergeant David Wright said, “Anyone with this classification level that we are guarding in the hospital would be treated in this manner.”

A criminal complaint was filed against Blake on July 6, charging him with felony third-degree sexual assault, misdemeanor criminal trespassing and misdemeanor disorderly conduct, according to Wisconsin Circuit Court records. He is accused of assaulting his ex-girlfriend, with whom he has three children.

Blake was shot after officers were dispatched Sunday for a caller who reported that her boyfriend, who was not supposed to be on her premises, was present, according to the Wisconsin Department of Justice. The release did not specify what role Blake played in the original incident, but family attorney Benjamin Crump said he was attempting to break up a domestic dispute.

Officials have not said if Sheskey was aware of Blake’s history at the time of the shooting.

Sheskey and another officer, Vincent Arenas, deployed tasers in failed attempts to apprehend Blake, the Wisconsin Department of Justice said Friday.

As depicted in a video of the interaction that quickly went viral on social media, Blake walked to his SUV and opened the driver’s side door. Sheskey, 31, grabbed Blake’s shirt and fired his service weapon seven times into Blake’s back, according to the Wisconsin Department of Justice.

Governor Tony Evers expressed criticism when asked at a press conference if he was concerned about the decision to restrain Blake. “Hell yes. I have no personal understanding why that would be necessary. Certainly, he’s paid a horrific price already,” Evers said.

Sheskey has not been charged and the shooting remains under investigation by the Wisconsin Department of Justice. It is also the subject of a federal civil rights investigation.

The shooting sparked nationwide sports boycotts, several nights of demonstrations and violence, including a shooting that left two dead and one injured in Kenosha. An Illinois teen, Kyle Rittenhouse, has been charged in that case.

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