Photo: Getty Images
  /  08.25.2022

On Tuesday (Aug. 23), Justin Blake filed a federal lawsuit in Milwaukee alleging sheriff’s deputies arrested and tortured him as he protested his nephew Jacob Blake’s 2020 Kenosha police shooting. The shooting at the hands of cops left Jacob paralyzed and sparked nationwide protests after cell phone video was widely circulated.

Justin alleges that after he was arrested by sheriff’s deputies for protesting in April 2021, they strapped him to an emergency restraint chair for almost seven hours. The lawsuit adds that once law enforcement officials realized he was related to Jacob, they intentionally gave him a hard time. He claims that Kenosha County deputies injured his neck, back and shoulders. The lawsuit mentions unspecified damages and also calls for restraint chairs to no longer be used by police officers.

As of yesterday (Aug. 24), Joseph Cardamone III (Kenosha County’s corporation counsel) had not responded to claims about Justin’s current lawsuit or made any statements regarding the case. Since the 2020 incident, Justin has always urged supporters to peacefully protest when marching for change. “We want justice, and we’re going to get justice. We’re going to demand justice. But we’re going to do that without tearing up our own communities,” he told CNN in 2020.

In the days immediately following Jacob’s shooting, Kyle Rittenhouse attended one of the protests. Rittenhouse, a white male, was 17 years old at the time. He shot three people, with two of them dying from their wounds. According to AP News, a jury found him not guilty and determined Rittenhouse acted in self-defense. Justin later said Rittenhouse’s acquittal felt like “a slap in the face.” Today (Aug. 25), a writer for Newsweek wrote that they’d interviewed Rittenhouse at the protest just minutes before the teen shot three people.

“So people are getting injured, and our job is to protect this business, and part of my job is also to help people,” Rittenhouse reportedly said as he held a semi-automatic rifle. “When there’s somebody hurt, I’m running into harm’s way,” he added before killing two people.

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