Jacob Blake, a Kenosha, Wisconsin, Black man who was paralyzed after he was shot in the back by a white officer last summer, filed a civil lawsuit Thursday accusing the officer of excessive force.
Blake will be represented by civil rights lawyer Ben Crump along with attorneys Patrick A. Salvi and B’Ivory LaMarr.
Blake was shot by officer Rusten Sheskey, after officers were called to respond to a domestic dispute during a birthday party for one of Blake’s sons on August 23. Sheskey and two other officers approached Blake attempting to question and detain him over an outstanding warrant. A physical shuffle ensued where Blake dropped a pocket knife and attempted to pick it up. As he opened the door of his SUV, the officer fired, striking him in the back seven times.
In the suit Blake asks for unspecified damages and contends Sheskey acted with “malice, willfulness, and reckless indifference” to Blake’s rights. The 18-page complaint also states that Sheskey placed Blake’s children in danger, firing the shots within feet of innocent bystanders and Blake’s children who were waiting for their father in his SUV.
After the shooting Sheskey claimed that he acted out of fear of being stabbed. In January, a Wisconsin prosecutor declined to file charges against Sheskey, siding with Sheskey that evidence proved he acted in self-defense.
hat he feared for his own safety so he opened fire. A Wisconsin prosecutor , concluding he couldn’t disprove the officer’s contention that he acted in self-defense because he thought the man would stab him. criminal charges against Sheskey
Following Blake’s shooting demonstrators took to the streets of Kenosha, protesting Blake’s shooting. At one of the demonstrations, a 17-year-old white teen Kyle Rittenhouse opened fire with an assault-style rifle killing two demonstrators Anthony Huber, 26, and Joseph Rosenbaum, 36.
He is charged with multiple counts of homicide and attempted homicide.
In January, Blake sat down with “Good Morning America,” where he shared he was grateful to be alive because he feared a darker reality.
“I didn’t want to be the next George Floyd,” Blake said. “I didn’t want to die.”