MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Jacob Blake is no longer shackled to his hospital bed, as he had been following a police shooting in southeastern Wisconsin that left him paralyzed, his attorneys said Friday.
Kenosha Police Officer Rusten Sheskey shot Blake, a Black man, seven times in the back on Sunday while responding to a domestic abuse call. Protesters have filled Kenosha’s streets every night since the shooting in a demonstration against police racism and brutality.
Blake’s father told the Chicago Sun-Times on Thursday that he was upset to learn his son was handcuffed to his hospital bed in Milwaukee since he’s paralyzed and can’t go anywhere.
Blake was wanted on suspicion of felony sexual assault when he was shot. The Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement that all hospitalized patients in police custody are restrained unless undergoing medical procedures. Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers responded “hell, yes,” when asked during a news conference whether he was concerned about Blake being handcuffed. The governor said Blake had already paid a “horrific price.”
Blake’s attorney in the sexual assault case said Friday that Blake was no longer in restraints. He said the arrest warrant in the sexual assault case has been vacated, although charges remain. The Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Department said in a statement that Blake was no longer in custody because he has posted bond and deputies are no longer guarding him at the hospital.
“Fortunately, a man who is paralyzed and fighting for his life after being shot seven times in the back, will no longer have to deal with the pain of having his ankles and wrist shackled and the traumatic stress of being under armed guard,” Blake’s attorneys in the shooting case, Ben Crump, Patrick Salvi and B’Ivory Lamarr said in a statement.