So, Why Did They Burn Kenosha? Felon, Jacob Blake Quietly Drops Case Against Officer Who Shot Him

By Charles Susswein | Thursday, 19 May 2022 12:00
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Jacob Blake has withdrawn his federal civil rights lawsuit against the Wisconsin police officer who shot him while resisting arrest in August 2020, which left him paralyzed from the waist down.

According to the Associated Press, neither attorneys for Blake nor Kenosha Officer Rusten Sheskey revealed why the lawsuit was dropped in their court filings. It is unknown if the case being dropped may have been part of a compromise.

A man who answered the phone at the office of Blake’s attorney, Patrick Salvi II, hung up when asked about the decision to drop the lawsuit, and Sheskey’s attorney, Kenneth Battle, had no immediate comment.

Police were responding to a 911 call placed by Blake’s ex-girlfriend after he came to her house violating a restraining order. The video showed that Blake grappled with two officers. The shooting happened after he walked away from officers and opened up a vehicle's driver’s side door. Sheskey shot Blake after he turned toward the officer with a knife. Blake was also wanted on a felony sexual assault warrant at the time of the incident.

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Sheskey was acquitted of any criminal misconduct, and later, the sexual assault charges against Blake were dropped as part of a plea deal.

Prosecutors dropped a felony third-degree sexual assault charge and a misdemeanor criminal trespass charge against Blake in exchange for him pleading guilty to two misdemeanor counts of disorderly conduct. He was sentenced to two years probation.

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Blake’s shooting caused the riots, during which Kyle Rittenhouse fatally shot two men and injured a third while defending himself. Rittenhouse was acquitted on all charges in November of 2021.

Blake filed the civil rights lawsuit in March 2021 and claimed that Sheskey had used excessive force during the arrest.

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According to court records, the attorneys for the two men filed notice on Friday that they had agreed to dismiss the case with prejudice, which means Blake can’t refile it in the future.

The Justice Department’s findings dovetail with Kenosha County District Attorney Michael Graveley’s decision in January that Sheskey could successfully claim that he fired in self-defense.

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Sheskey and other officers encountered Blake after they responded to a call from a woman who reported that her boyfriend wasn’t supposed to be at her home. When they arrived at the scene, the woman told them that Blake was trying to take her kids and her SUV.

Blake fought the officers as they tried to take him into custody. Sheskey and another officer tried to surprise him with their stun guns. Blake tried to get into the SUV with his young children in the backseat, urging Sheskey to grab his shirt. Sheskey told investigators that he was afraid Blake would drive off with the children or use them as hostages.

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