Kenosha County Sheriff Says He Has Now Seen Jacob Blake Shooting Video

Beth said he did watch the video over the weekend and his response remains the same

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Kenosha County Sheriff David Beth has now seen the video showing city officers shooting Jacob Blake, one week after the shooting took place sparking days of unrest in Wisconsin, he said Monday.

Beth, whose department was not involved in the shooting but whose officers have been dealing with the unrest that followed, said on Friday he had not seen the footage. Video later surfaced over the weekend appearing to show him watching the video at a protest prior to those comments, however.

"Someone actually sent me a little snippet of me. Someone on that last Sunday night a week ago, handed me the phone and I remembered that situation, but if you saw that video of me holding the phone, you didn't look at what was around me," Beth said. "You did not look at the rocks being thrown at me, the Molotov cocktail that was landing near my feet. I wasn't looking at the phone. I was looking at the people that were very animated around me."

Still, Beth said he did watch the video over the weekend and his response remains the same.

WARNING: The following video contains graphic content and may be disturbing to some viewers. PLEASE NOTE: NBC 5 is not showing the moment Jacob Blake is shot. The audio of the scene will continue to play as the video pauses. Video posted on social media appears to show police officers in Kenosha shoot at a Black man’s back seven times...

"This weekend I did look at the video, I still don't have a comment on it. You're asking me to make a comment about something that my department isn't doing the investigation on," Beth said. "And I found out that there's a lot of things that are coming out that aren't quite accurate, but I'm letting other people sort through that I'm doing the job I have to do and that's to help keep your people here safe."

The police shooting of Blake, a 29-year-old Black man, began to unfold at around 5:11 p.m. on Aug. 23, when officers responded to a domestic incident in the 2800 block of 40th Street, Kenosha police said in a statement at the time.

The Wisconsin DOJ said Friday that Kenosha police responded to the scene "after a female caller reported that her boyfriend was present and was not supposed to be on the premises."

The DOJ said officers "attempted to arrest" Blake and after an initial arrest attempt, Officer Rusten Sheskey used a taser in an "attempt to stop" Blake.

"When that attempt failed, Kenosha Police Officer Vincent Arenas also deployed his taser, however that taser was also not successful in stopping Mr. Blake," the DOJ's statement reads.

NBC News has not been able to independently confirm the information provided by Kenosha police or the Wisconsin DOJ.

Graphic video taken by a witness appeared to show an officer grab at Blake's shirt and shoot him in the back at least seven times as he leaned into a vehicle. That video was posted on social media and sparked outrage nationwide.

The DOJ's statement on Friday echoed what's shown in the video, noting Sheskey - who authorities had previously identified as the officer who shot Blake - fired his service weapon seven times into Blake's back while holding onto his shirt.

The Kenosha Police Department does not have body cameras, the DOJ noted.

The Wisconsin DOJ said Friday that Sheskey has been with the Kenosha Police Department for seven years, and Arenas since February 2019, previously working for the U.S. Capitol Police.

The Wisconsin DOJ also identified Kenosha Police Officer Brittany Meronek as the third officer at the scene. She joined the department in January of this year, officials said.

All three officers have been placed on administrative leave during the investigation, authorities have previously said.

Blake's attorneys said during a news conference on Tuesday that the bullets struck Blake's spinal cord, resulting in the near-complete removal of his colon and small intestine, as well as damaging his kidney and liver.

The Wisconsin DOJ said its Division of Criminal Investigation is leading the investigation into the shooting, assisted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Wisconsin State Patrol and Kenosha County Sheriff’s Office, with all law enforcement agencies cooperating.

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