/  01.07.2021

Jacob Blake’s lawyers are taking legal action after it was announced that the officer who shot their client seven times in the back would not be facing criminal charges.

On Wednesday (Jan. 6), attorney Ben Crump spoke to CBSN about the recent charging decision in the Blake case which he claims “does nothing to help this issue of mistrust.”

“We have to have transparency and accountability to get that trust,” he said. “We are going to file a civil rights excessive use of force 1983 civil rights lawsuit against the Kenosha Police Department.”

“We just look at negligence on part of the department,”  B’Ivory LaMarr, one of Blake’s family lawyers, added. “We’re gonna look at the training of these officers. We’re going to look at a lot of different things. We believe the city is definitely responsible for Officer [Rustin] Sheskey’s actions on that day. It left a man paralyzed here.”

On Aug. 23, Sheskey responded to calls of a domestic violence and shot Blake — who was reportedly breaking a dispute between two women —multiple times as he tried to enter a vehicle. Earlier this week, Kenosha County District Attorney Michael Gravely announced the cop would not be charged because Blake — who he claims was packing a knife — turned toward him before he opened fire.

“To try to say, ‘We couldn’t have used the least intrusive measures to respond in this matter,’ but with Black people, it always seems to be — and we saw this play out in 2020 like never before — you shoot first and you ask questions later,” he said, adding Blake did not put anyone in “harm’s way.”

Crump also compared Blake’s treatment to that of Kyle Rittenhouse who shot three protesters at a Blake demonstration.

“They don’t see the young white man who just killed people with a gun walking towards them as a threat, but yet you say a young Black man who is running away from you is a threat?” he questioned. “It emphasizes that there are two justice systems in America — one for Black America, and one for White America.”


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