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Jacob Blake sues officer who shot him

Jacob Blake sues officer who shot him
© Screenshot

Jacob Blake, who was left paralyzed after being shot several times in the back last summer, has sued the police officer who shot him.

Blake filed an excessive force lawsuit against Officer Rusten Sheskey in a Wisconsin federal court on Friday. The suit alleges that Sheskey’s actions were “undertaken with malice, willfulness, and reckless indifference” to Blake’s rights.

The suit further alleges that Blake has “suffered and will continue to suffer physical and emotional damages” as a result of the alleged excessive force.

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Cellphone footage of Blake’s shooting that went viral last year showed him being shot multiple times as officers attempted to stop him from entering his vehicle. The incident, which occurred roughly three months after George Floyd, another Black man, died in police custody, sparked a wave of anti-police brutality protests.

Kenosha County District Attorney Michael Graveley in January declined to bring charges against Sheskey or any of the officers in Blake’s shooting. Graveley noted at the time that Blake had an active warrant for his arrest, meaning that the officers had to make an attempt to arrest him.

As officers were attempting to arrest him, Blake retrieved a folding knife that was dropped, and began to walk toward the driver’s seat of the car. As Blake was getting in the car, Sheskey grabbed him by the shirt and began shooting him.  

The 19-page lawsuit suit details the encounter that led to Blake being shot, and includes still images of the incident. The suit does not name the Kenosha Police Department as a defendant.

“Nothing can undo this tragedy or take away from the suffering endured by Jacob, his children and the rest of the Blake family,” attorney Ben Crump said in a statement posted on Twitter.

“But hopefully today is a significant step in achieving justice for them and holding Officer Sheskey answerable for his nearly deadly actions— actions that have deprived Jacob of his ability to walk,” he said.

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