Jacob Blake

Protesters Demand Firing of Kenosha Officer Who Shot Jacob Blake

Blake, who is Black, was shot in the back and side seven times after walking away from officers who were trying to arrest him

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Family members of Jacob Blake and supporters gathered outside the Kenosha Police Department Sunday to demand the firing of the police officer who shot Blake during a confrontation caught on video last summer.

Officer Rusten Sheskey, who was not charged in connection with the Aug. 2020 shooting, was reinstated from administrative leave on March 31, Kenosha police previously said.

“The Kenosha Police use of force incident on Aug. 23, 2020 was investigated by an outside agency; has been reviewed by an independent expert as well as the Kenosha County District Attorney..." Police Chief Daniel Miskinis said in a statement. "He acted within the law and was consistent with training. The incident was also reviewed internally. Officer Sheskey was found to have been acting within policy and will not be subject to discipline.

However, at Sunday's rally, Blake's family voiced disagreement and called for Shesky's firing.

"Our family doesn't feel like we received proper answers, notification of any sort that this officer is back out on the streets," said Blake's father, Jacob Blake Sr. "He attempted to murder my son in my eyes, and in a lot of other eyes, that's what he did."

Although Sheskey is not facing charges in the incident, he is facing a federal civil rights lawsuit that was filed by Blake and his family after the charging decision was made.

According to a press release from civil rights attorney Ben Crump, who is one of three lawyers representing Blake in the case, the suit was filed earlier this year in U.S. District Court in Wisconsin’s Eastern District.

The suit alleges that the shooting was not justified, with attorneys saying that the shooting was “excessive and unnecessary.”

Blake, who is Black, was shot in the back seven times after walking away from Sheskey and two other officers who were trying to arrest him. Officers fired their weapons when Blake opened the driver’s side door of an SUV and leaned into the vehicle. The shooting was captured on cell phone video.

Officials have said that Blake was armed with a knife at the time of the incident and that he admitted to police he had a knife, which was later recovered from his vehicle.

The shooting left Blake paralyzed from the waist down and set off days of protests and demonstrations and several nights of looting and vandalism.

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