5 Things To Know About The Police Shooting Of 29-Year-Old Black Father Jacob Blake
Blake's father has deemed the police shooting an "attempted murder."
August 26, 2020 at 7:44 pm
Following the Sunday night police shooting of Jacob Blake, people have taken to the streets of Kenosha, Wisconsin demanding justice from authorities.
As Blavity previously reported, the 29-year-old was shot in the back by police while they “responded to a reported domestic incident."
Video captured a police officer firing upon Blake, with his back turned, as he was walking away from officers and entering into a vehicle. Witnesses say Blake was trying to break up a fight before officers arrived and was shot in front of his three children, mere feet away as they sat in his vehicle.
As the video of Blake’s assault has erupted a swell of outrage, here’s what you need to know about the shooting and his family’s call for justice:
His shooter has been named
CBS News reports the officer who independently fired seven shots into Blake's back was identified as Rusten Sheskey on Wednesday. The officer has been with the Kenosha Police Department for seven years.
This is officer Rusten Sheskey. He is the one who shot Jacob Blake 7 times in his back.
We need to put his face all over social media. pic.twitter.com/PGieMMlzyd
— Hamdia Ahmed (@hamdia_ahmed) August 27, 2020
None of the officers involved in the incident were wearing body cameras but cellphone video did capture the shooting.
The man who recorded the incident on his phone said police punched and tasered Blake before shooting him
Raysean White, who said he made the cellphone video of the shooting, told CNN he saw Blake in a scuffle with three officers before he could start recording.
"One of them had him in a headlock and was punching him in his ribs, the other had him in a headlock on the other side of him and was pulling his arm," White said. "After they punched him in his rib, the female officer Tased him and Jacob kind of leaned on the car and they proceeded to wrestle him toward the back of the car and he went to the other side of the car.”
White said that’s when he realized he should start recording. Moments later, he said he heard officers yell, “Drop the knife! Drop the knife!” prior to opening fire on Blake. White told CNN that he said he didn’t see a knife in Blake’s hands.
The 29-year-old will likely be paralyzed for the rest of his life
On Tuesday, Blake’s family and attorney Crump revealed that he had sustained serious damage to his spine and is now paralyzed.
The 29-year-old's father told The Chicago Sun-Times that a total of eight shots were lodged into Blake's body during the shooting he called “an attempted murder.”
“What justified all those shots?” his father said. “What justified doing that in front of my grandsons? What are we doing?”
According to his father, 29-year-old Jacob Blake is paralyzed from the waist down after being shot 7 times in the back by Kenosha , Wisconsin police. Please continue to sign the petition demanding the cops be held accountable #survivor
— MEFeater Magazine (@mefeater) August 25, 2020
Doctors haven’t discovered if the paralysis is permanent yet, per The Sun-Times.
Jacob’s fiancee and children are “getting showered with love,” his uncle Justin Blake said.
The family intends to get them into therapy for their trauma.
Jacob moved to Kenosha from a suburb of Chicago for a new job and better life for his family
The 29-year-old moved to Kenosha a few years ago from Evanston, Illinois to build a better life, Justin told the Chicago Tribune about his nephew.
“It was a safer location. He could work and try to save and build a better life,” Justin said.
In Evanston, the Blake family built a name as passionate activists. Jacob’s grandfather, also named Jacob Blake, served as pastor of Ebenezer AME Church and was a local community activist, The Tribune reports. The younger Jacob often returned to the area to volunteer with his family at a recycling plant that raises money for a local community center.
Protesters have taken to the streets of Kenosha, and clashed with police as protests turned violent
Hundreds of people took to the streets in protest of the police assault of Jacob. There were 34 fires set in association with the unrest, and 30 businesses destroyed or damaged Tuesday night, Kenosha Fire Chief Charles Leipzig confirmed to the Kenosha News.
Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers declared a state of emergency Tuesday, doubling the National Guard deployment in Kenosha from 125 to 250 troopers, per The AP.
On Wednesday, Kyle Rittenhouse of Antioch, Illinois was charged for shooting three people during the overnight protests, two of which have died, The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports.
Rittenhouse, 17, joined a group of armed men guarding a car lot and later told The Daily Caller in a video interview that it was his “job” to protect businesses and people despite killing two of the latter.
"People are getting injured and our job is to protect this business," Rittenhouse says in the clip. "And my job also is to protect people. If someone is hurt, I’m running into harm’s way. That’s why I have my rifle; I’ve gotta protect myself obviously. But I also have my med kit."
I interviewed the alleged shooter before the violence started.
Full video coming soon: pic.twitter.com/G3dVOJozN7
— Richie????McG???? (@RichieMcGinniss) August 26, 2020
Following the police shooting on Sunday, videos emerged on social media of various protests occurring in the city. Around midnight on Monday, garbage trucks were set on fire after they were placed to block protesters, Blavity reports. A curfew was implemented and the court house was closed earlier this week due to damage from the protests.
Jacob’s family has asked for calm and nonviolence while authorities conduct investigations
On Tuesday, Jacob’s mother, Julia Jackson, said the harm being done to the city of Kenosha does not represent her family well and that her son would also disapprove according to The Associated Press.
"It doesn't reflect my son or my family," she said. "I'm really asking and encouraging everyone in Wisconsin and abroad to take a moment and examine your hearts."
Jackson said Jacob doesn’t want to cause any problems for his family and longs to be his children, one of which turned eight the day he was shot.
“He said, ‘I don’t want to be a burden on you guys, ‘I want to be with my children, and I don’t think I’ll walk again,’” Jackson said her son said from his hospital bed.
The shooting is being investigated by Kenosha County District Attorney Michael Graveley's office and the Wisconsin Justice Department, according to CNN.