Trump Addresses Jacob Blake Shooting Ahead of Kenosha Visit: ‘I Didn’t Like the Sight of It’

August 31, 2020 Updated: August 31, 2020

President Donald Trump on Aug. 29 addressed the police shooting of Jacob Blake, which sparked riots and civil unrest in Kenosha, Wisconsin last week.

Ahead of his scheduled Sept. 1 visit to the city to assess damage from the recent riots, the president was asked by a reporter after a rally in New Hampshire if he thought the officer who shot Blake, 29, was justified in doing so.

“I’m looking into it very strongly. I’ll be getting reports and I’ll certainly let you know pretty soon,” Trump said Friday night. “It was not a good sight. I didn’t like the sight of it, certainly, and I think most people would agree with that.”

Kenosha has received help from National Guard soldiers from neighboring states and the federal government to bring the violence and unrest sparked by the shooting under control.

The police officer who shot Blake, Rusten Sheskey, has since been placed on administrative leave and is under investigation by the Wisconsin Division of Criminal Investigation under the state’s Department of Justice.

Epoch Times Photo
This undated handout photo provided by the Wisconsin Department of Justice shows Kenosha Police Officer Rusten Sheskey. (Courtesy Wisconsin Department of Justice via AP)

Sheskey shot Blake seven times after Blake resisted officers’ attempts to arrest him after they received a call from his former girlfriend for help. Blake had a warrant out for his arrest and a restraining order stipulating that he wasn’t to approach his ex-girlfriend after an alleged sexual assault.

A criminal complaint obtained by The Epoch Times showed that Blake was charged in July with trespassing, third-degree sexual assault, and disorderly conduct.

According to the Wisconsin Department of Justice, Blake admitted to having a knife in his possession at the time of the shooting. Department agents found a knife on the driver’s side floorboard of Blake’s car.

Following the shooting, Blake was rushed to the hospital in critical condition, where he remains. Family attorneys told reporters on Aug. 25 that Blake had undergone multiple surgeries.

The 29-year-old’s mother, Julia Jackson, has denounced Sheskey’s use of force, saying that her family is “very hurt” and “quite frankly disgusted.”

Democratic vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris said last week that, while she has not seen all the evidence, she believes the police officer who shot Blake likely used excessive force and should face charges.

Democratic Vice Presidential nominee Sen. Kamala Harris
Democratic Vice Presidential nominee Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), delivers remarks during a campaign event in Washington, on Aug. 27, 2020. (Michael A. McCoy/Getty Images)

Democratic lawmaker Rep. Val Demmings (D-Fla.), a former Orlando police chief, on Sunday urged people to reserve judgment on the matter until all evidence has come to light.

“I think what we have to do is all take a deep breath. If we want justice to be served, we’ve got to wait until a thorough and complete investigation is done. We do not want to play judge, jury, and executioner, whether we’re talking about Mr. Blake or we’re talking about the police officer,” Demmings said during an appearance on CBS News’s “Face the Nation.”

“We want the facts, and we must have all of them if we want to see justice served, and I believe we all do,” she added.

The president’s schedule for his Tuesday visit hasn’t yet been fully outlined, White House spokesman Judd Deere said.

Melanie Sun contributed to this report.