Lawsuit filed against Kenosha police officer who shot Jacob Blake

Kenosha Police Officer Rusten Sheskey, Jacob Blake

A lawsuit has been filed on behalf of Jacob Blake against Kenosha police officer Rusten Sheskey for the Aug. 2020 shooting that left Blake paralyzed. 

The lawsuit was filed on Thursday in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin.

Blake's lawyers said in the complaint that Blake made no physical or verbal threats toward officers at the scene. They also wrote in the complaint that Blake had a folding knife on him, though he never brandished or threatened to use it.


After the shooting, Blake spent six weeks in a Milwaukee hospital recovering. During that time in Wisconsin, there were riots followed by peaceful protests.

More than 250 people were arrested during protests in the days that followed, including then-17-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse, who is charged in the fatal shootings of two men and the wounding of a third.

"While Jacob Blake survived being shot six times, his devastating injuries are permanent and life-changing. The bullet that severed Jacob’s spinal cord has left him paralyzed and confined to a wheelchair. Jacob now suffers from an intractable pain syndrome. After various surgical procedures and an agonizing course of physical rehabilitation, Jacob remains unable to return to his job as a security guard and relies on others to assist him with the basic needs of daily living," Attorney Patrick A. Salvi II said. 


The complaint said that several women and a toddler were on the opposite side of the vehicle and "in imminent danger of being hit by stray gunfire."

"Miraculously, no bystanders were hit by gunfire. Although Jacob’s children escaped physical injury and avoided being hit by the stray bullet that fired into the SUV, they were forced to witness their father being gunned down only feet away from where they sat," Attorney B’Ivory LaMarr said. 

In January, Kenosha County District Attorney Michael Graveley said that he would not file criminal charges against Rusten Sheskey.