Jacob Blake has filed a lawsuit against the Kenosha, Wisconsin police officer who shot him in the back. The civil lawsuit was filed Thursday (March 25) and excuses the officer, Rusten Sheskey of excessive force.
Blake was shot on August 23, 2020 while entering an SUV during a dispute. Sheskey and two other officers were attempting to arrest Blake over an outstanding warrant when a pocket knife fell during a struggle.
Blake maintains he picked up the knife to put it in the vehicle where his two children were in the backseat before he would’ve surrendered to police. Sheskey claims he feared for his life and fired his weapon, striking Blake in the back seven times, leaving him paralyzed.
The shooting was captured on a cellphone video, coming in the midst of national protests against police brutality following the death of George Floyd three months earlier by police in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Two months before Blake was shot, an Atlanta police officer fatally shot 27-year-old Rayshard Brooks in the parking lot of a Wendy’s fast food restaurant, continuing to amplify demands for justice and change.
In January, a Wisconsin prosecutor chose not to bring charges against Shesky. Blake’s lawsuit, according to The Associated Press, is seeking unnamed damages and accuses Shesky of putting Blake’s children in “imminent danger” by firing so close to where they were seated in the car. The 18-page federal complaint says the officer’s actions were “undertaken with malice, willfulness, and reckless indifference to the rights” of Blake.
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