Media, politicians got key facts of Jacob Blake shooting wrong — helped cause riots

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When Officer Rusten Sheskey shot Jacob Blake seven times in the back last year, the media wasted no time establishing the standard narrative: another unarmed African American shot by racist police. In a CNN segment on Aug. 25, anchor Jake Tapper said, “Video shows police shoot unarmed black man.” The Washington Post, CNN, PBS, BuzzFeed, Vogue and several other outlets referred to Blake as “unarmed.” The day after the shooting, David A. Graham, a staff writer at The Atlantic, asserted, “It’s nearly impossible to imagine any way that his shooting was justified.” Democratic politicians and ­celebrities jumped on the story, too. Joe Biden tweeted, “Once again, a Black man — Jacob Blake — was shot by the police. In front of his children. It makes me sick. Is this the country we want to be?” Kamala Harris declared that “the life of a black person in America has never been treated as fully ­human.”