Jacob Blake was 'committing a felony & armed' when he was shot seven times in back by Kenosha cop, AG Bill Barr claims
JACOB Blake was "committing a felony" and was "armed" when he was shot seven times in the back by a Kenosha cop, Attorney General Bill Bar claims.
The AG made the comments just a day after visiting Kenosha – which has been rocked by furious protests in the past fortnight following Blake's shooting.
Jacob Blake, 29, was shot seven times in Kenosha, Wisconsin by police on August 23 and left paralyzed.
During an interview with CNN's Wolf Blitzer, Barr sought to dismiss comparisons between the shooting of Blake and the killing of George Floyd – who died when an officer in Minneapolis pressed his knee on his neck.
When asked what was different about the two cases, Barr responded: "Floyd was already subdued, incapacitated in handcuffs and was not armed.
"In the Jacob case he was in the midst of committing a felony and he was armed.
"So that's a big difference."
AG Barr did not specify which felony Blake was allegedly committing.
It comes as Kenosha cops last week claimed that Blake had a knife when he was shot as it emerged he was wanted for sexual assault.
But Blake's family and lawyers maintain that he was unarmed and did nothing to provoke the Kenosha shooting after he broke up a fight.
Lawyers for Jacob Blake's family Ben Crump, Patrick Salvi, and B'Ivory Lamarr have challenged the Attorney General's claims in a statement released yesterday.
They said: "Attorney General Barr is misinformed.
"The police officers were the aggressors from start to finish, based on video and witness accounts."
The lawyers added: "There was never any point in time when there was justification for deadly force.
There was never any point in time when there was justification for deadly force
"In fact, there were innocent bystanders in the line of fire when he shot seven times into Jacob's back.
"At all material times, Jacob's back was to the officers and he never posed an imminent threat."
AG Barr also told Wolf Blitzer that he did not believe there was "systemic racism" in US policing.
He said: "There appears to be a phenomenon in the country where African Americans feel that they're treated, when they're stopped by police frequently, as suspects before they're treated as citizens.
"I don't think that that necessarily reflects some deep-seated racism in police departments or most police officers".
He also denied the "false narrative" that the country was in the midst of an "epidemic" of African-Americans being killed by police officers.
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