Bill Barr says Jacob Blake was ‘armed and committing a felony’ before cop shot him seven times in the back
The AG initially said he was 'not going to talk about the Blake case' as it was different from the Memorial Day killing of George Floyd who died after ex-officer kneeled on his neck for eight minutes
Jacob Blake was armed and committing a felony when a police officer shot him seven times in the back, Attorney General Bill Barr said on Wednesday, September 2. Barr made the claims about the Kenosha, Wisconsin, incident during an interview with CNN's Wolf Blitzer. However, he did not cite the specific felony Blake had allegedly committed, the New York Post reported.
The AG initially said he was “not going to talk about the Blake case” as it was vastly different from the Memorial Day killing of George Floyd who died after a former officer kneeled on his neck for almost eight minutes in Minneapolis. “Floyd was already subdued, incapacitated in handcuffs, and was not armed,” Barr explained. “In the Jacob case, he was in the midst of committing a felony and he was armed.”
But Blitzer noted that cops did not know there was a weapon in Blake's car until after the shooting, according to both the police and Blake family's version of events. “His family says he wasn’t armed. There may have been a knife in the car,” Blitzer said adding that, “But he wasn’t armed when he was shot.” Barr, upon being pressed for more details, declared: “I’ve stated what I believe to be the difference.” Blake is currently paralyzed from the waist down and recovering in the hospital. His attorneys claim Barr is simply "misinformed" on the facts of the case. “AG Barr is misinformed. Police were aggressors from start to finish,” family lawyer Ben Crump responded in a statement. “There was never a justification for deadly force. Innocent bystanders were in the line of fire when he shot 7 times into Jacob’s back. At all material times, his back was to them. He never posed an imminent threat.”
Earlier in the day, we reported how President Donald Trump has initiated steps to cut off federal fundings for the cities he considers are being pushed into “anarchy”. The Republican president has been lashing out at Democrat-ruled states and cities over their endless protests and violence in recent times, fuelled time and again by instances of racist attacks. Cities like Portland, Oregon, Kenosha and Wisconsin have been in the news for the wrong reasons and Trump has been critical of the local authorities.
In a tweet on Wednesday, September 2, Trump said: “My Administration will do everything in its power to prevent weak mayors and lawless cities from taking Federal dollars while they let anarchists harm people, burn buildings, and ruin lives and businesses. We're putting them on notice today.” He tagged Russell Vought, Director of the Office of Management and Budget, in his tweet.
My Administration will do everything in its power to prevent weak mayors and lawless cities from taking Federal dollars while they let anarchists harm people, burn buildings, and ruin lives and businesses. We’re putting them on notice today. @RussVought45— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 3, 2020
The same day, the president also signed a five-page memo in which he ordered all federal agencies to report to Vought’s office on federal funds (going to the cities under scanner) that can be redirected, the Post reported. Besides New York City, Washington DC, Portland and Seattle have also been included as initial targets as the president makes “law and order” a key plank of his re-election campaign in the wake of months-long violence that has spread since the brutal police killing of Floyd on May 25.