Jacob Blake files lawsuit against Wisconsin officer who shot him
Blake was paralyzed after the shooting and is confined to a wheelchair
Jacob Blake, who was shot by a white Wisconsin police officer, filed a civil suit against the officer on Thursday for excessive force.
Blake was shot in the back in August by officer Rusten Sheskey in Kenosha during a domestic dispute. Video of the shooting went viral during a summer that had already seen protests against police violence across the nation.
Sheskey shot Blake after attempting to arrest him on an outstanding warrant when a small pocket knife fell out of his pants. In a previous interview with Michael Strahan on Good Morning America, he said that he intended to return it to the vehicle and surrender. The officer shot him in the back as he opened the car door.
Sheskey shot Blake seven times. He was paralyzed after the shooting from the waist down and is confined to a wheelchair.
Wisconsin prosecutors declined to file charges against the officer who claimed self-defense. District Attorney Mike Graveley said that Blake was armed with a knife, refused orders to drop it, and made gestures as if he would stab the officer. He also claimed that once Blake dropped the knife, Sheskey stopped shooting and delivered first aid.
Blake’s shooting drew intense criticism because it happened in front of three of his six children who were in the back seat of the car. He told Strahan that when the shooting stopped, he told them, “Daddy love you no matter what.”
“I thought that was going to be the last thing I say to them,” Blake said. “Thank God it wasn’t.”
Sheskey is the only defendant in the lawsuit where the 18-page complaint alleges that the officer put his children in imminent danger.
In the lawsuit, Blake alleges that Sheskey’s actions were “undertaken with malice, willfulness, and reckless indifference to (Blake’s) rights.”
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