ABC News exclusive: Jacob Blake speaks out for first time since being shot by police

first_imgABC NewsBy MORGAN WINSOR, ERIN BRADY and STEPHANIE WASH, ABC News(NEW YORK) — Jacob Blake says he “didn’t want to be the next George Floyd,” that he “didn’t want to die.”The 29-year-old Black father of six is speaking out for the first time since being shot seven times by a white police officer in Kenosha, Wisconsin, almost five months ago. The shooting left him partially paralyzed and led to days of protests, renewing calls nationwide to end police violence against people of color.“I was counting down my breaths and my blinks,” Blake recalled in an exclusive interview with ABC News’ Michael Strahan that aired Thursday on Good Morning America.It was Aug. 23, 2020, and Blake was at the home of Laquisha Booker, the mother of three of his children. They were celebrating their son Israel’s eighth birthday when an argument erupted between Booker and a neighbor, according to Blake.“I was like, I’m going. I’m going to take them to the store again, make them forget about all this,” he said. “I just wanted to get them, I wanted to leave.”Booker called 911 as Blake was getting ready to leave with two of his sons.“Jacob Blake is here, and he has the keys to a rental that I purchased that I need to take back, and he’s not trying to release it,” Booker can be heard telling the 911 dispatcher in an audio recording of the call.The dispatcher sent three officers from the Kenosha Police Department to respond to the incident and alerted them that there’s a warrant for Blake’s arrest on charges of trespassing, disorderly conduct and third-degree sexual assault, stemming from an alleged domestic violence incident earlier that summer. Prosecutors later dropped the sexual assault charge, and Blake pleaded guilty to two counts of disorderly conduct and was sentences to two years of probation.Blake said he was putting one of his children in the car when he felt someone grab his arm.“I took — took my arm away,” he recalled. “Human reaction.”“After I did that, I realize that it was the police and it was like, ‘Uh-oh,’” he said. “Cause when I did that … he slammed me up against the truck.”According to an investigative report by the Kenosha County District Attorney’s Office, the police officer — identified as Rusten Sheskey — recalled approaching Blake on the street and telling him, “Let’s talk about this.” Sheskey said he then grabbed Blake’s arm to arrest him and mentioned the warrant, according to the report.Blake, however, claimed the officers didn’t say anything to him.A struggle ensued and Sheskey alleged that Blake reached for his waistline area, leading police to believe that he was reaching for a weapon. Sheskey deployed his Taser multiple times, but Blake pulled the prongs out of his skin, according to the report.“At that point, I’m rattled,” Blake recalled. “I realized I had dropped my knife, had a little pocket knife. So I picked it up after I got off of him because they tased me and I fell on top of him.”Blake always told investigators that he had a knife at the time of the incident, but it’s a detail that his lawyers initially denied based on eyewitness accounts.Blake said he walked to the front of his vehicle toward the driver’s side door so he could put the knife in the car. He said he intended to then surrender to police.“I shouldn’t have picked it up, only considering what was going on,” he said. “At that time, I wasn’t thinking clearly.”Sheskey told investigators he feared Blake was going to stab him. As Blake headed for the car, Sheskey said he grabbed onto Blake’s shirt. Sheskey said Blake then turned toward him with the open knife in hand, moving toward the officer’s torso — which Blake denied.Sheskey told investigators he fired his weapon until he saw Blake drop the knife.“He just kept shooting, kept shooting,” Blake recalled.A witness captured video of some of the incident on their cellphone.Sheskey told investigators that he had given Blake numerous verbal commands to “stop resisting.” But Blake said he couldn’t hear anything.“All I heard was screaming,” he said. ‘My ears was ringing, so it was all muffled.”Blake said he wasn’t trying to leave or run away but that he “resisted to getting beat on.”“And what I mean by that is not falling, not letting them put they head on my neck,” he added. “That’s all I was thinking, honestly.”Sheskey’s attorney, Brendan Matthews, said, “the officers acted according to their training,” and that Blake was given every opportunity to comply but he chose not to.Blake’s shooting happened less than two months after the death of George Floyd, an unarmed 46-year-old Black man who died in Minneapolis on May 25 after a white police officer was filmed kneeling on his neck as three other officers stood by. Floyd’s death sparked widespread outrage, anti-racism protests and calls for police reform across the United States and around the world.Blake is now paralyzed from the waist down and confined to a wheelchair. He has had 36 surgeries. His mother, Julia Jackson, has organized a GoFundMe titled “Justice for Jacob Blake” to help pay for his growing medical and rehab expenses.During a press conference last week, Kenosha County District Attorney Mike Graveley announced that no police officers will be charged in Blake’s shooting. He said Sheskey, who was placed on administrative leave, was justified in his use of force because Blake was armed with a knife, refused orders to drop it and made a motion as if he was going to stab Sheskey. Graveley said evidence showed Sheskey fired in self-defense.Graveley noted that Blake admitted to investigators that he was armed with a knife throughout the entire encounter, and that Sheskey stopped shooting when he saw Blake was no longer a threat and then immediately started giving first aid. There were 10 bullets left in Sheskey’s gun, according to Graveley.Blake recalled the bullets hitting him as two of his children — his “babies” — watched from the backseat of the car. When the shooting stopped, Blake said he told them, “Daddy love you no matter what.”“I thought that was going to be the last thing I say to them,” he said. “Thank God it wasn’t.”When his children later saw him on a FaceTime call from his hospital bed, Blake said, “they couldn’t believe I was alive.”“I’ve explained it to them and broke it down to them,” he said, “like, ‘Daddy can die, but for some reason I didn’t that day.’”Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

Global CFOs have a message for real estate investors: We’re cutting space

first_imgCFOs worldwide are sounding the alarm about excess office space. (iStock)The Covid-19 vaccine is being distributed across the country, but it may already be too late for commercial real estate landlords and investors.Companies around the globe are looking at how they can cut costs in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, and scaling back real estate holdings is one big way they’re looking to do so. Bloomberg analyzed transcripts from over 4,700 earnings calls between July 21 and Dec. 8, and found that one in eight “revealed that firms were rethinking their real estate needs.”(If that figure seems bleak, consider this: Bloomberg says that “[g]iven the limitations of AI and live transcriptions,” even more companies may have discussed cutting real estate costs, but not have been captured in its analysis. Yikes.)Companies aren’t just looking at reducing their office footprint: According to the analysis, other possible cost-cutting measures include closing branches and data centers and attempting to negotiate lower rents.Already, office vacancy rates in major metropolitan areas are reaching record levels. In Manhattan, the vacancy rate recently hit 13 percent, a rate not seen since 2003. In Chicago, the vacancy rate is 22 percent; in Los Angeles, it’s 21 percent. This could spell doom for investors and landlords who have significant holdings in those buildings.The commercial mortgage-backed securities market, meanwhile, may see heavy losses if companies continue to scale back their real-estate holdings.[Bloomberg] — Amy Plitt This content is for subscribers only.Subscribe Nowlast_img read more

Nine Inch Nails Dedicates “In This Twilight” To Photographer Andrew Youssef, Who Is Battling Colon Cancer

first_imgMusic has always had the ability to inspire, empower, and uplift people, even in the most dire of situations. Any true music fan who lives, breathes, sleeps, eats and drinks their music, knows that feeling or sensation that a certain part, peak, or sweeping crescendo in a song can make you feel. Or perhaps the lyrical content parallels something that is going on in your life at a particular moment. Whatever the case may be, it is a feeling that millions of us can understand.In the case of photojournalist Andrew Youssef, Trent Reznor and Nine Inch Nails recently gave him his very own moment. Youssef, a huge music fan that has shot countless bands from Atoms For Peace to the Deftones, Depeche Mode to LCD Soundsytem, and Rage Against the Machine to Van Halen, was diagnosed with stage four colon cancer in 2011. He has been receiving treatment for the past three years, has continued to photograph the bands he loves, and started a column called Last Shot, which documents his ongoing battle, along with his concert experiences.However, in September, Andrew wrote that his doctors told him that his disease had taken a turn for the worse, and he had weeks to months to live. Andrew documented the difficulties of coming to terms with this, as well as telling his family and friends the news. In the column, he also discussed how he had been listening to a lot of Nine Inch Nails, in particular “In The Twilight,” and how its lyrics resonated with him, “As the time is running out.. Let me take away your doubt.. We can find a better place.. In this twilight.” You can read that particular column here.Trent Reznor heard of Youssef’s struggles, and began following his column, and even invited him to NIN’s intimate shows at the Troubadour. Reznor and Youssef began to have lunch every day during the band’s rehearsals for their upcoming tour, quickly became friends, and have kept in constant contact since.  Facing a “dwindling energy supply,” Youssef cut his schedule down to just two Nine Inch Nails shows, Nov. 8th in LA, and Nov. 16th in Las Vegas. Unfortunately, he was unable to make the Las Vegas show, as he was simply in too much pain to make the trip.While Andrew unable to make the show in person, he was still able to make the show, when Reznor decided to make a phone call to him, explaining to the crowd Youssef’s story and why he appeared to be on his phone when walking out on stage. Holding his phone up to face the packed arena, with the crowd chanting “Andrew! Andrew!” Youssef was able to feel the power of the masses in a truly uplifting moment of love, compassion, kindness, and the beauty of the human spirit as NIN went into “In This Twilight.”These are the moments that we live for, the moments that give you hope, that make you feel like we are all in this fight together, and the moments that you cannot soon forget. Catch a video of the beautiful moment below. Our thoughts go out to Andrew Youssef during these most trying of times.[via Consequence of Sound]last_img read more

Grateful Dead – Dave’s Picks Vol. 11 [Wichita 11/17/72]

first_imgBetween official releases, box sets, and archivist David Lemieux‘s series “Dave’s Picks,” the Grateful Dead seem to be releasing more material now than they ever have. Why do they do it? Because we love to hear it! The Grateful Dead’s legacy is timeless, inspiring countless musicians and music fans alike.Dave’s Picks 11 captures the Dead in their prime, at the end of 1972. The band had established themselves as a musical force, touring routinely over the past few years. Their musical catalog reached a creative pinnacle, melding folk, blues, jazz, and psychedelic influences into a live concert experience like none other. Sure, some of their best songs had yet to be written, but tracks like “Sugaree,” “The Other One,” “He’s Gone,” “Sugar Magnolia” (all of which appear on Dave’s Picks 11) proved that the Grateful Dead were serious about their music.The first and only performance in Wichita, on November 17 1972, kicked off with a rocking “Promised Land,” settling in with a few calmer numbers (“Sugaree,” “Tennessee Jed,” “Black-Throated Wind”) before busting out an extended “Bird Song.” Of course, the hometown “Jack Straw” from Wichita made an appearance in the first set, much to the crowd’s delight. The remainder of the set comprised a number of classics, including “Box of Rain,” “Brown-Eyed Women” and a sublime “China Cat Sunflower > I Know You Rider.”The real meat and potatoes of this show was the second set. From a 14-minute “He’s Gone,” we’ve hit the ground running, as the Dead work their way through an outstanding “Truckin’ > The Other One.” Real spacy jam, showcasing the band’s psychedelic prowess. The transcendent groove settles into a particularly touching “Brokedown Palace.” You can clearly hear the audience’s enthusiasm.Rounding out the set with a “Sugar Magnolia,” “Uncle John’s Band,” and Chuck Berry’s “Johnny B. Goode,” the Dead prove time and time again that they are the masters of the live performance. Picking tunes that span the length of their career, the band was able to deliver a masterpiece performance.Dave’s Picks 11 also contains bonus material from a concert just two days earlier, in Oklahoma City, including a wholly psychedelic, 30-minute version of “Playin’ In The Band,” a soothing “Wharf Rat,” and a “Not Fade Away > Goin’ Down The Road Feelin Bad > Not Fade Away” jam that showcases some of the band’s popular songs not performed in Wichita. All in all, this is a fantastic archival release.Check out three of the songs from the album via 1 1. Promised Land [3:12] 2. Sugaree [7:01] 3. Me And My Uncle [3:11] 4. Tennessee Jed [7:47] 5. Black-Throated Wind [7:04] 6. Bird Song [11:01] 7. Jack Straw [5:00] 8. Box Of Rain [4:54] 9. Don’t Ease Me In [3:16] 10. Beat It On Down The Line [3:26] 11. Brown-Eyed Women [5:11] 12. Big River [4:39] 13. China Cat Sunflower> [7:10] 14. I Know You Rider [4:46]Disc 2 1. Around And Around [3:55] 2. Casey Jones [6:33] 3. Cumberland Blues [6:31] 4. El Paso [4:17] 5. He’s Gone [14:12] 6. Truckin’> [9:57] 7. The Other One> [19:49] 8. Brokedown Palace [5:57] 9. Sugar Magnolia [8:24]Disc 3 1. Uncle John’s Band [8:07] 2. Johnny B. Goode [3:57] Live In Oklahoma City (11/15/72) 3. Playing In The Band [30:57] 4. Wharf Rat [10:38] 5. Not Fade Away> [7:47] 6. Goin’ Down The Road Feeling Bad> [7:12] 7. Not Fade Awaylast_img read more

Phil & Friends Pay Tribute To 1969 And 1970-Era Grateful Dead

first_imgPhil Lesh continued his Grateful Dead 50th anniversary concert series at his own Terrapin Crossroads venue in San Rafael, CA, honoring the years 1969 and 1970 in the Dead’s history. Lesh has been working through sets that honor each yeah in the Dead’s storied history, having previously played 1965 through 1968.Lesh, along with Scott Law, Stu Allen, Jason Crosby, Cody Dickinson, Alex Koford, Ross James, played two tribute shows this weekend, with the ‘1969’ concert on February 6th and the ‘1970’ concert on February 7th. The first night saw the band follow the Dead’s setlist from 2/22/69, with “Dupree’s Diamond Blues,” “That’s It for the Other One,” “St. Stephen,” “Turn On Your Lovelight,” and more. The full setlists can be seen below.The encore of the 1969 show was a jumble of miscellaneous tunes, including “The Seven,” an alternate version of “The Eleven” that was only played twice ever – once in 1969 and another time in 1970. They concluded the show with a cover of Junior Parker’s classic blues tune, “Mystery Train,” which was only played the Grateful Dead once (it was a staple of the Jerry Garcia Band’s shows though).Phil & Friends followed things up with a 1970 tribute on the next night. The band opened with a brief acoustic set, which included renditions of “The Monkey and the Engineer,” “Friend of the Devil” and “Black Peter.” The electric portion of the show contained a number of Dead staples, including “China Cat/I Know You Rider,” “Not Fade Away,” “Dark Star,” and a handful of American Beauty tracks, including “Attics of My Life” and “Candyman.”Phil Lesh also announced the date of the 1971 tribute show, which will be held at Terrapin Crossroads on March 1st. Check out the setlists below:1969 Tribute: February 6th, 2015Set I: Dupree’s Diamond Blues > Mountains of the Moon > Jam > Dark Star > Cryptical Envelopment > That’s It for the Other One > Cryptical Envelopment > Death Don’t Have No MercySet II: Doin’ That Rag > St. Stephen > The Eleven > Turn On Your Love Light > Drums > Turn On Your LovelightEnc: Playin’ Jam > Silver Threads and Golden Needles, High Time > The Seven > Mystery Train1970 Tribute: February 7th, 2015The Monkey And The Engineer*, Friend Of The Devil*, Black Peter*, Casey Jones, China Cat Sunflower-> I Know You Rider, Hard To Handle, Me & My Uncle, Cryptical Envelopment > Drums > The Other One > Cryptical Envelopment > Attics Of My Life, Good Lovin’ > Drums > Good Lovin’, Cold Rain & Snow, Dark Star > Saint Stephen > Not Fade Away > Turn On Your Love LightEnc: Candyman, Walkin’ The Dog, Cocaine Blues,*AcousticSource: Philzone.comlast_img read more