Jacob Blake files lawsuit against Kenosha officer

Jacob Blake files lawsuit against Kenosha officer

Jacob Blake files lawsuit against Kenosha officer

A Black man paralyzed after shot in the back; by a white police officer in southeastern Wisconsin has filed a civil lawsuit Thursday accusing the officer of excessive force.

Jacob Blake Jr. shot by Kenosha Officer Rusten Sheskey in August, while Blake was about to enter his SUV during a domestic dispute. Blake’s federal complaint against Sheskey, the only defendant, is seeking damages but the numbers remain undisclosed. 

Authorities reportedly approached 29-year-old Blake as he was getting into his SUV with his three children in the backseat. Officers said they attempted to arrest Blake after realizing he had an open warrant from a previous charge; which has since been dropped.

The lawsuit states Blake became afraid that “he was about to be attacked by the police”.

The shooting, that was captured on a bystander video; turned the nation’s spotlight on Wisconsin during a summer marked by protests over police brutality and racism. It happened three months after George Floyd died. The white officer charged with murder and manslaughter in Floyd’s killing is currently on trial.

Sheskey and two other Kenosha officers were trying to arrest Blake on an outstanding warrant. When a pocketknife fell from his pants during a scuffle. Blake said he picked it up before heading to a vehicle to drive away with two of his children in the back seat. He said he was prepared to surrender once he put the knife in the vehicle.

Sheskey told investigators that he feared for his own safety so he opened fire. A Wisconsin prosecutor declined to file criminal charges against Sheskey; concluding he couldn’t disprove the officer’s contention that he acted in self-defense because he thought the man would stab him.

Court documents do not list an attorney for Sheskey.

The 18-page complaint includes still photos showing each of the seven shots fired by Sheskey. The officer held the muzzle only a few feet away from Blake’s two young children; seated in the back of the car, putting them in “imminent danger”, according to the complaint.

Shaskey’s actions were “undertaken with malice, willfulness, and reckless indifference to the rights” of Blake, the lawsuit said.

2 years later Jacob Blake files A lawsuit

“While Jacob Blake survived being shot six times, his devastating injuries are permanent and life-changing,” attorney Patrick Salvi II said in a statement. “The bullet that severed Jacob’s spinal cord has left him paralyzed and confined to a wheelchair. Jacob now suffers from an intractable pain syndrome. After various surgical procedures and an agonizing course of physical rehabilitation, Jacob remains unable to return to his job as a security guard and relies on others to assist him with the basic needs of daily living.”

Blake’s legal team, which includes civil rights attorney Ben Crump and B’Ivory LaMarr, states the Aug. 23, 2020, shooting was unjustified, as their client had made no threats toward any of the responding officers, including Rebecca Meronek and Vincent Arenas.


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