Jacob Blake Reveals The Progress He's Made Since Kenosha Shooting

Jacob Blake

Photo: Getty Images

More than one year after Rusten Sheskey shot him several times in front of his kids, Jacob Blake has opened up to Omar Jimenez of CNN about the challenges he continues to face today. Their conversation began with Blake reflecting on the recently passed holiday, Independence Day. Blake told Jimenez that the fireworks don't trigger memories of him being shot, but rather it triggers the trauma of seeing others around him die from gun violence.

"Before we even got to the 4th of July, the weekend was bloody already. I was watching all of my people dying," Blake told Jimenez.

"I'm hearing these booms [fireworks] 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."

As the conversation developed, Blake began to revisit the day in which his life was forever altered and the protests that followed. He recalls sitting in a hospital while watching everything unfold on CNN.

"I can't really explain the feeling...it was out of body. I felt like I was floating for a while, watching everything happen. It blew my mind that they were that mad about it, that people care about it, that they care about me," Blake explained.

"I didn't agree with what they were doing, but I understood."

Much like the rest of the country, Blake had spent weeks leading up to August 23 watching the fall out from the deaths of Breonna Taylor, George Floyd and Ahmaud Arbery. Before August 23, he hoped that his name wouldn't be placed beside them.

"One thing that I said, they're gonna end up shooting the wrong person or killing the wrong person," Blake added.

"And a month later it happened to me."

One year after shooting, Blake still struggles to walk, sleep and maintain his mental health. While he is happy to have survived the shooting, he faces a number of obstacles ahead.

"I'm still going through a lot of pain. Last week I was up for three days straight, slept for a whole day," Blake continued.

"When I fall into depression, which I have, it makes my body hurt. I don't have the physical strength to be upset."

Despite all that has happened, Blake still possesses a sense of optimism that is warm and admirable. He is not able to fully walk now, but he is proud to be standing.

"I was so geeked. I forgot how tall I was."

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