Man shot seven times by police issues powerful plea from hospital bed

·3-min read

The man shot seven times in the back by a police officer in Kenosha, Wisconsin has spoken publicly for the first time as violent scenes from riots continue to overshadow peaceful protests in the US.

Jacob Blake 29, said he is in constant pain from the shooting, which doctors fear will leave him paralysed from the waist down.

In a video posted on Twitter on Sunday, local time, by his family's lawyer Ben Crump, Mr Blake said from his bed in a Milwaukee hospital: "Twenty-four hours, every 24 hours it's pain, nothing but pain.

"It hurts to breathe, it hurts to sleep, it hurts to move from side to side, it hurts to eat."

Mr Blake was shot in the back by a white police officer on August 23 after walking away from the officer and two others who were trying to arrest him.

The officer, Rusten Sheskey, opened fire after Blake opened his own SUV's driver-side door and leaned into the vehicle. He was accused of reaching for a knife.

Jacob Blake speaks from his hospital bed
Jacob Blake said he is in constant pain from the shooting, which doctors fear will leave him paralysed from the waist down. Source: Twitter/Ben Crump

The shooting was captured on video and posted online, reigniting protests over racism and police brutality that have swept the United States since the death of George Floyd on May 25.

In the video Mr Blake said he has staples in his back and stomach from surgeries.

The father of six cautions people that life can end in an instant and urges the black community to come together and turn his shooting into something positive.

"I just want to say, man, to all the young cats out there, and even the older ones older than me, it's a lot more life to live out here, man.

“Your life and not only just your life, your legs, something that you need to move around and move forward in life, can be taken from you like this, man," Mr Blake says snapping his fingers.

Mr Blake’s father, Jacob Blake Sr, sent a similar message to protesters in August, urging them to refrain from looting and vandalism, which had overshadowed peaceful protests.

On Friday (local time) Mr Blake appeared remotely in Kenosha County court as he pleaded not guilty to three domestic abuse charges filed against him in July.

Mr Sheskey and the other officers who were at the scene were placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of an investigation by the Wisconsin Department of Justice. None of them have been charged.

Jacob Blake appeared to encourage protesters to make their vocal opposition count.

"Stick together, make some money, make everything easier for our people out there, man, because there's so much time that's been wasted,” Mr Blake said as the video ends.

with AAP

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