Jacob Blake has filed a lawsuit against Rusten Sheskey, the white Kenosha police officer who shot him seven times last August. According to legal documents, Blake is suing Sheskey for unspecified damages over the injuries he sustained during the shooting, including being paralyzed from the waist down.
In the lawsuit, Blake said one of Sheskey’s shots severed his spinal cord, resulting in his paralyzation. The 29-year-old has not been able to work or perform daily tasks since the shooting and says he’s still confined to a wheelchair after months of surgeries and physical rehabilitation.
Ben Crump, who’s leading Blake’s legal team, also claims Blake didn’t make any physical or verbal threats against Sheskey during their confrontation.
Blake admitted to having a folding knife on him during the incident, but says he never threatened to use it against any of the officers. After Blake dropped the knife on his car floor, Sheskey fired seven shots, hitting Blake in the back six times.
In the suit, Blake also claimed Sheskey’s seventh shot struck the side door of his car and could have hit his children, who were sitting in the backseat. The lawsuit accuses Sheskey of using excessive force during the incident and requests a jury trial.
The civil lawsuit marks Blake’s latest course of legal action against Sheskey after the officer was not charged in the shooting. Back in January, Kenosha District Attorney Michael Gravely announced he would not bring criminal charges against Sheskey or any of the officers involved in the shooting.
“Kenosha DA Michael Gravely will not charge the officers involved in the August shooting of Jacob Blake. We are immensely disappointed and feel this decision failed not only Jacob and his family but the community that protested and demanded justice,” Crump said at the time.
“This isn’t the news we hoped for, but our work is not done and hope is not lost,” he added. “We must broaden the fight for justice on behalf of Jacob Blake and the countless other Black victims of racial injustice and police brutality.