KENOSHA, Wis. - Attorney Benjamin Crump, representing Jacob Blake and his family, released a statement Thursday, Aug. 27, a day after officials with the Wisconsin Department of Justice named the Kenosha police officer who shot Blake seven times Sunday, Aug. 23, and said a knife was recovered from the floorboard of the vehicle after Blake was shot.
Kenosha Police Officer Rusten Sheskey, Jacob Blake
The statement released by Crump and co-counsels Patrick Salvi and B’Ivory Lamarr is as follows:
“On behalf of Jacob Blake’s parents, we echo calls for restraint in this highly emotional time. But we also call on local, state and national law enforcement to protect the people of Kenosha from outside vigilante forces who would take justice into their own hands. Jacob Blake didn’t harm anyone or pose any threat to the police, yet they shot him seven times in the back in front of his children. But when a young white supremacist shot and killed two peaceful protestors, local law enforcement and National Guardsmen allowed him to walk down the street with his assault weapon. This is the grossly unfair picture that Black Americans and all Americans who seek racial justice, including the Milwaukee Bucks, see and passionately object to.
“Jacob did nothing to provoke police. He was a great father and was only intending to get his children out of a volatile situation. Witnesses confirm that he was not in possession of a knife and didn’t threaten officers in any way.
“We agree that Attorney General Kaul and District Attorney Graveley must complete a full investigation and anyone with information should come forward. At the same time, the video we’ve all seen is quite clear. This investigation should be completed quickly and decisively, not like the inquiry into the death of Breonna Taylor, which has dragged on for more than five months.”
DOJ officials in an update Wednesday said Kenosha police were dispatched to a residence near 28th Street and 40th Avenue after a female caller reported that her boyfriend was present and was not supposed to be on the premises.
During the incident, officers attempted to arrest Blake, 29.
DOJ officials said law enforcement deployed a Taser to attempt to stop Blake, however, the Taser was not successful.
Blake then walked around his vehicle, opened the driver’s side door and leaned forward, officials said. While holding onto Blake’s shirt, Officer Sheskey fired his service weapon seven times "into Mr. Blake’s back."
No other officer fired their weapon, DOJ officials noted.
The Kenosha Police Department does not have body cameras. Therefore, the officers were not wearing body cameras.
During the investigation following the initial incident, Blake "admitted that he had a knife in his possession," officials said.
DCI agents recovered a knife from the driver’s side floorboard of Blake’s vehicle. A search of the vehicle located no additional weapons.
Scene of police-involved shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha
Law enforcement immediately provided medical aid to Blake. Flight for Life transported Blake to Froedtert Hospital in Milwaukee, where he remained as of Wednesday.
DCI is leading this investigation and is assisted by the FBI, Wisconsin State Patrol and Kenosha County Sheriff’s Department.
The involved officers have been placed on administrative leave.
Officials with the DOJ noted in a news release Wednesday the DCI report will be turned over to a prosecutor, and "when DCI is the lead investigating agency of a shooting involving a law enforcement officer, DCI aims to provide a report of the incident to the prosecutor within 30 days. The prosecutor then reviews the report and makes a determination about what charges, if any, are appropriate. If the prosecutor determines there is no basis for prosecution of the law enforcement officer, DCI will thereafter make the report available to the public."
Meanwhile, the U.S. DOJ announced Wednesday a federal civil rights investigation into the shooting of Blake.