Last August, Blake — a 29-year-old Black man — was shot in the back by Kenosha police officer Rusten Sheskey, paralyzing him from the waist down. Sheskey shot Blake seven times as he tried to get into his car during a confrontation with officers.
The state Department of Justice that investigated the incident stated that Blake continuously disregarded officers’ instructions and had a knife in his hand during the conflict with the officers. District Attorney Michael Graveley used this reasoning to clear Sheskey of any criminal misconduct as Sheskey claimed it was self-defense.
Blake sued the Kenosha Police Department in federal court, claiming Sheskey violated his Fourth Amendment rights and his intention to kill was unnecessary and extreme.
Wisconsin Attorney General chooses former Madison Police Chief to review police shooting of Jacob BlakeWisconsin Attorney General will refer the case file on the Kenosha Police Department shooting of Jacob Blake to former Madison Read…
In his lawsuit, Blake said he was at the residence of the mother of one of his kids, celebrating his son’s eighth birthday, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Blake claims he tried to leave the birthday party with his two sons right after their mother got into a fight with her neighbor. The mother then called the police on Blake, stating he was not allowed at her residence.
As Blake continued to leave the residence, he said Sheskey never stated he was under arrest and grabbed his arm aggressively. After a few moments of struggle, Blake was punched, choked and tased. Blake continued to avoid being put into handcuffs, according to the report.
According to Blake’s lawsuit, he reached down to grab a folded pocket knife he had dropped while the encounter took place. He started to walk around the front of the vehicle and quickly threw the knife to the ground. He then proceeded to open the driver’s door as Sheskey yanked him back by the shirt.
At this point, Sheskey fired seven shots. The lawsuit states Blake was shot in the arms, back and left side by six of seven bullets.
Kenosha arrests raise questions about policing in Dane CountyIn late August, Kenosha police shot 29-year-old Jacob Blake several times in the back, leaving him partially paralyzed and sparking protests Read…
In an interview with ABC news, Blake shared his exact thoughts during the encounter.
“I didn’t wanna be the next George Floyd, I didn’t wanna die … I was counting down my breaths, my blinks. I was like ‘God, I’m coming.’ I guess this is it for me,” Blake said.
A video of the incident taken by a neighbor was released to the public and posted on numerous social media platforms, sparking anger throughout the country. Riots and protests erupted for days after the incident occurred.
Ben Crump, the same attorney who represented George Floyd, continues to represent Blake today in his fight for justice against Rusten Sheskey and the Kenosha Police Department, according to reports.