Jacob Blake handcuffed to hospital bed despite being paralyzed by police shooting


Jacob Blake, the black man shot seven times in the back by police in the US state of Wisconsin, has been handcuffed to his hospital bed, his family says.

Mr Blake was paralysed by the shooting and is under arrest, his father said.

Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers told reporters that he “couldn’t imagine” why handcuffs would be necessary.

Meanwhile, a teenager charged with killing two people and injuring another during protests over Mr Blake’s shooting is due to appear in court.

Kyle Rittenhouse, 17, will appear in Lake County, Illinois, for a hearing on a request to have him extradited to Wisconsin.

He faces six criminal counts including first-degree intentional homicide, attempted homicide, reckless endangerment and possession of a dangerous weapon below the legal age of 18.

Kyle Rittenhouse is being defended by a prominent legal firm whose clients have included President Donald Trump’s personal attorney Rudolph Giuliani and former Trump adviser Carter Page, Reuters news agency reports.

Mr Blake’s shooting in the city of Kenosha sparked demonstrations there and in other cities across the US. It has been relatively quiet for the past two nights.

What have the family said?

Mr Blake’s father, also called Jacob Blake, spoke to reporters after visiting his son in hospital.

“I hate it that he was laying in that bed with the handcuff on to the bed,” he said, quoted by the Chicago Sun-Times. “He can’t go anywhere. Why do you have him cuffed to the bed?”

Mr Blake said his son was “under arrest” but the family was not sure what charges he faced.

Governor Evers, asked by reporters if he was concerned that Mr Blake had been handcuffed, said: “Hell yes.”

“I would have no personal understanding why that would be necessary,” he said. “Certainly he’s paid a horrific price already, been shot seven or eight times in the back.”

Kenosha police and sheriff’s department, as well as the district attorney’s office, did not immediately respond to a CNN request for comment on the handcuffs issue.

On Thursday the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) called for the immediate resignation of Kenosha’s police chief and county sheriff, accusing them of defending “white supremacy” and “demonizing people who were murdered for exercising their First Amendment rights and speaking out against police violence”.

Police found a knife in Mr Blake’s car but no other weapons. Investigations are continuing into the shooting.

What about Kyle Rittenhouse?

The 17-year-old had told journalists it was “his job” to guard buildings in Kenosha against protesters.

Videos on social media appeared to show a man with a rifle being chased by a crowd before he fell to the ground and appeared to fire at them.

Joseph Rosenbaum, 36 and Anthony Huber, 26, both died in the incident. Gaige Grosskreutz, also 26, was injured.

Mr Rittenhouse was arrested at his mother’s house in Antioch, Illinois on Wednesday.



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