Jacob Blake has filed a lawsuit against the white police officer who shot him and rendered him paralyzed.
A Black man was paralyzed after a white police officer shot him in the back in Wisconsin, and he has filed a federal lawsuit accusing the officer of using excessive force.
Officer Rusten Sheskey of Kenosha fired Jacob Blake Jr. as he was about to get into an SUV during a domestic dispute in August 2020.
The videotaped shooting of Blake ignited yet another rally against police brutality and racism. It occurred three months after another black man, George Floyd, died in Minneapolis while being restrained by police officers.
During a scuffle, Sheskey and two other Kenosha officers were attempting to apprehend Blake for an outstanding warrant when a pocketknife dropped from his pants. Blake said he picked it up before getting into his car and driving away with two of his children in the back.
Officer Sheskey held onto his shirt and fired 7 shots into his back as he opened the driver’s side door and leaned forward.
Sheskey told investigators that he opened fire because he was afraid for his own safety.
Jacob was paralyzed from the waist down after the shooting, and his family believes he will need a miracle to walk again.
According to a recent civil rights lawsuit brought on Blake’s behalf, each of the seven times Kenosha Police Officer Rusten Sheskey pulled the trigger to shoot Jacob Blake was a single act of excessive force.
Blake’s lawyers, led by renowned civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump, filed the lawsuit late Thursday in U.S. District Court in Eastern Wisconsin, seeking a jury trial in the disputed shooting.
In an interview Thursday evening, one of Blake’s Milwaukee lawyers, B’Ivory LaMarr, said, “In 2021, transparency should be the expectation, not the exception.”
In the filing, attorney Patrick Salvi denied Kenosha County District Attorney Michael Graveley’s allegation that Sheskey told investigators Blake attempted to stab her when Blake was reaching into a car in a January news conference.
“The knife is now in his right palm, and it goes under his left and makes this kind of movement,” Graveley demonstrated during a lengthy presentation announcing his decision not to prosecute Sheskey. “Officer Sheskey is the object of his torso turn. That, according to both officers, happened.”
Blake, according to the complaint, was not a threat and dropped the knife on the SUV’s floor before Sheskey opened fire. Despite Graveley’s assertion that two officers believed Blake made a stabbing motion to investigators, Sheskey was the only officer who opened fire.
Salvi wrote in the case that “the conduct of Plaintiff Blake tossing the folding knife into the floorboard of the SUV was fully evident to Defendant Sheskey.”
“I’m not sure where in that video Jacob is turning toward the officer, extending the knife toward the officer, or doing some other form of stabbing. It’s ridiculous to assume that something could be derived from that video that fits that logic “LaMarr continued.
Sheskey fired seven bullets, according to the 18-page lawsuit, which contains pictures of each of them. According to the lawsuit, the officer kept the muzzle just a few feet away from Blake’s two young children, placing them in “imminent danger” of being struck by gunshots or ricocheting bullets.
Blake’s federal lawsuit seeks unspecified damages from Sheskey, the sole defendant.