Jacob Blake reflected on his life one year after he was repeatedly shot by a police officer in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Blake, who was 29 years old at the time of the Aug. 23, 2020 shooting; spoke to CNN about healing from the traumatic event both physically and mentally.
“Yeah I’m here, and yeah I’m about to be walking, but I really don’t feel like I have survived because it could happen to me again,” Blake told the outlet. “I have not survived until something has changed.”
After months of physical rehabilitation, Blake said he was finally able to take a few steps during his son’s birthday celebration last Monday (Aug. 23).
“I’m still going through a lot of pain,” he explained. “Last week I was up for three days straight [and then] slept for a whole day.”
Besides the physical toll of shooting, Blake said he’s also suffered bouts of depression that make his “body hurt.” Over the Fourth of July weekend, he was also forced to call 911 after the sounds of fireworks triggered an anxiety attack.
“I’m hearing these booms and it’s not scaring me because I got shot, it’s scaring me because all of those people have gotten shot, so every time a boom went off, I’m kind of imagining people dying,” he said of the experience.
One year later and officer Rusten Sheskey, who shot Blake, also has not been charged. Sheskey was previously cleared of all wrongdoing by Kenosha District Attorney Michael Gravely and was reinstated as a police officer in April. However, The Guardian reports that he was suspended a month later after his service weapon was stolen.
Since the shooting, Blake has been active in the nonprofit Edifye, which he co-founded last year. According to CNN, Edifye works with professional athletes and other partners to raise money for communal bail, organize community events and more.
“I don’t want to just sit back cooling out; I just want to help these kids,” Blake said.