A man who was likely left paralysed after being shot seven times in the back by US police has spoken publicly for the first time, describing the inescapable pain he endures.
“Twenty-four hours, every 24 hours it’s pain, nothing but pain,” Jacob Blake, 29, said in a video posted on Twitter by family lawyer Ben Crump.
“It hurts to breathe, it hurts to sleep, it hurts to move from side to side, it hurts to eat.”
Still in his hospital bed, the father-of-six also said he has staples in his back and stomach.
“Your life, and not only just your life, your legs, something you need to move around and forward in life, can be taken from you like this,” Mr Blake said, snapping his fingers.
Mr Blake can’t move the lower half of his body. It is not yet known whether his paralysis will be permanent.
But in a message of hope, Mr Blake said “there’s a lot more life to live”.
He added: “Please, I’m telling you, change your lives out there. We can stick together, make some money, make everything easier for our people out there, man, because there’s so much time that’s been wasted.”
Mr Blake was shot in the back by a white police officer on August 23 after walking away from the officer and two others who were trying to arrest him.
The officer, Rusten Sheskey, opened fire after Mr Blake opened his own SUV’s driver-side door and leaned into the vehicle.
Mr Blake appeared to be unarmed at the time of the shooting which occurred in front of his children.
The Justice Department in the state of Wisconsin later said a knife was recovered from his car, but has not said whether there is any evidence Mr Blake was holding it at the time of the attempted arrest.
Mr Blake had an outstanding arrest warrant when he was shot.
On Friday, he appeared via video link in hospital to plead not guilty to charges accusing him of sexually assaulting a woman in May.
The shooting of Mr Blake was captured on video and posted online, sparking several nights of protests and unrest in Kenosha, a city of about 100,000 between Milwaukee and Chicago.
The incident unleashed street protests in Kenosha, located north of Chicago and south of Milwaukee.
Mr Sheskey and the other officers who were at the scene were placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of an investigation by the Wisconsin Department of Justice.
None of them have been charged.