By ArLuther Lee, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution #local-all (CNT)
Jacob Blake, the Black man who was shot seven times in the back during an altercation with Kenosha, Wisconsin, police in August, has been released from a Milwaukee hospital, according to reports citing his attorney.
The 29-year-old is still recovering from his wounds and has checked into “a spinal injury rehabilitation center in Chicago,” attorney Patrick Cafferty said without revealing the exact time of Blake’s departure from Froedtert Hospital.
Blake’s family said the shooting had left him paralyzed from the waist down, and it was uncertain whether he would ever walk again.
The shooting further enflamed national outrage and protests already gripping the nation in the aftermath of George Floyd’s death in May.
Blake later regained consciousness at the hospital and immediately asked his father why police had fired so many times, reports said.
Multiple surgeries left Blake with staples in his back and stomach, and he said he was in constant pain.
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“It hurts to breathe. It hurts to sleep. It hurts to move side to side. It hurts to eat,” he said in a videotaped message from his hospital bed in August. “You do not want to have to deal with this.”
On the day of the shooting, cellphone video taken by an eyewitness showed officers with guns drawn and trailing Blake, who was ignoring their commands to stop as he walked around an SUV.
As Blake opened the door to his vehicle, one of the officers tugged at his shirt before unloading seven shots into his back.
Blake’s children — ages 3, 5 and 8 — were in the vehicle and one had been celebrating his birthday, CNN reported.
The officers have been placed on administrative leave while the matter is investigated.
The Kenosha Professional Police Association said Blake put up a fight and wielded a knife that he refused to drop, however, the family’s attorneys dispute this account.
“At no point in time was Jacob’s momentum toward the officers, and what you see is that the officer is pulling on his shirt and then fires those seven bullets into Jacob’s back,” said Blake family attorney Patrick Salvi Jr. “If he was concerned that Jacob had a knife, why wouldn’t he back away?” he asked, according to reports.
Blake also may have told the deputies that he had the knife, which was later recovered on the driver’s side floorboard of Blake’s vehicle, according to the Wisconsin Department of Justice’s division of criminal investigation.
Blake was arraigned from his hospital bed on charges related to the alleged assault that led to the emergency call that preceded his shooting.
He pleaded not guilty to third-degree sexual assault, criminal trespass and disorderly conduct, reports said.
Blake was allowed to remain free on a $10,000 bond. His next appearance is scheduled Oct. 21.