Jacob Blake pleads not guilty in Kenosha court to charges filed in July
KENOSHA, Wis. - Jacob Blake appeared remotely to Kenosha County court on Friday afternoon, Sept. 4. Blake waived his right to a preliminary hearing -- and then pleaded not guilty to three charges that were filed against him back in July. Those charges include 3rd-degree sexual assault, criminal trespass, and disorderly conduct.
Jacob Blake appears remotely for Kenosha County court case
Blake appeared via video conference from his hospital bed at Froedtert Hospital after being shot seven times by Kenosha Police Officer Rusten Sheskey on Sunday, Aug. 23. He remains paralyzed from the waist down.
All three officers present when Blake was shot are on administrative leave during the investigation by the Wisconsin Department of Justice.
The state agency said police were sent to the scene after a woman reported her boyfriend was present and wasn't supposed to be on the premises.
Blake's attorney Ben Crump has said that Blake was trying to break up a domestic dispute.
Friday's court appearance was the first time anyone had seen Blake since the Aug. 23 incident. A signature bond of $10,000 was set for Blake during his court appearance. The court also indicated he is not to go to the victim's house, have a weapon, and can only leave Wisconsin for medical treatment. Jury selection for a trial on the three charges was set for Nov. 9.
Protesters filled Kenosha's streets several nights after the Blake shooting in a demonstration against police racism and brutality.
Fires burn amid protests in Kenosha
Meanwhile, Jacob Blake's father said Friday that his “happy-go-lucky” son is optimistic for his future. A clearly exhausted Jacob Blake Sr., speaking by video chat from a Milwaukee hotel, told The Associated Press that the past two weeks have been “surreal” and “like a dream” and he’s mentally worn out. He said he’s been receiving death threats, which he said he couldn’t talk about in detail.
Jacob Blake Sr.
“It’s been hard on everybody,” Blake Sr., who drove from North Carolina to be with his hospitalized son, said.
Blake Sr. said he talks with his son about what he’ll be able to do once he’s released from the hospital, rather than his limitations if he remains paralyzed.
“We’ll go fishing together in the chair,” he said. “I’ve got the perfect spot for us. Things of that nature, things that have nothing to do with the sickness or anything.”
President Donald Trump visits Kenosha
President Donald Trump traveled to Kenosha on Tuesday. He thanked law enforcement for their efforts in quelling violence and met with people whose businesses were destroyed in fires, but he did not meet with Blake’s family.
Blake Sr. said Trump made clear he has no interest in his family. He said meeting with Biden and his wife was like speaking with an uncle and aunt.
Joe Biden speaks at church in Kenosha
“He came in that room with sympathy, empathy, a caring nature,” Blake Sr. said. “It was not an interview, it was not a political thing.”
The Blake family told Biden that they want all police to be required to have body cameras, something the Kenosha officers did not have. Blake Sr. said the family also told the former vice president they want police trained in de-escalation techniques. And they want the officer who shot Blake to be fired.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.