Jacob Blake's Legal Team Now Considering A Civil Lawsuit Against The Kenosha Police Department

Jan 6, 2021

Kenosha Police officer Rustin Sheskey may have avoided local criminal charges yesterday, in a decision announced by Kenosha County District Attorney Mike Gravely.

But there could be more legal trouble for Sheskey and the Kenosha Police Department.

Sheskey shot Jacob Blake numerous times last August when responding to reports of a domestic incident. Blake remains unable to walk. But DA Gravely said yesterday that Sheskey's action could be viewed by a jury as self-defense because Blake, Gravely said, had a knife.

One of the Blake family lawyers' B'Ivory LaMarr said he and their legal team will now consider filing a civil lawsuit against the Kenosha Police.

"We just look at negligence on part of the department.  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 Sheskey's actions on that day. It left a man paralyzed here," said LaMarr.

Also yesterday afternoon, the U.S. Attorney in Milwaukee Matthew Krueger released a statement saying a federal civil rights investigation into the shooting of Blake is ongoing. The release said the Justice Department, including its Civil Rights Division, will make an independent charging decision 

But Attorney Krueger also said federal probes continue into arson, and what he called rioting and other violent crimes that occurred in Kenosha for a few nights after Blake was wounded.

Last night in Kenosha, about two dozen people marched for a few hours, protesting the lack of criminal charges against Sheskey.   

Small group of marchers protesting the National Guard's presence in Kenosha Tuesday evening.
Credit Chuck Quirmbach

The march was largely peaceful, except for when the crowd yelled at roughly a dozen National Guard members near the county courthouse and as the group left, someone set off what sounded like small firecrackers near the numerous television crews covering the evening's actions.