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Onlookers Cheer As Justice Walk From Kenosha To Milwaukee Ends In Celebration

Marti Mikkelson
Protesters called for Kenosha police officer Rusten Sheskey to be charged at a rally in downtown Milwaukee Tuesday night

A 38-mile walk that started in Kenosha in the early morning hours ended at Red Arrow Park in downtown Milwaukee Tuesday night. About 25 people participated in the walk, organized in support of Jacob Blake, a Black man who was shot by a white Kenosha police officer in August. Blake was paralyzed from the waist down and was recently released from the hospital.

A truck played some music as about 200 people greeted the walkers after they finished their stint. One person who walked from Kenosha to Red Arrow Park was Jacob Blake’s uncle, Justin Blake. He described the walk as incredible, and says despite health issues, was happy to complete it.

“I’ve got five pins in one ankle from a construction accident and seven in the other. So, we walked as much as we could, rallied the people as much as we could and it was just beautiful all the way around,” Justin Blake says.

He also marveled at the size of the crowd. Volunteers passed out blankets and served refreshments, along with information about voting to those who braved the cold, drizzly weather. Rally-goers carried signs that read “Black Lives Matter” and “Vote.”

“These people here are actually heroes. What they’re doing and what they believe in, justice for little Jake, he’s not their blood family. But they’re here, more than 200 people, to make sure that we can make a point tonight,” Justin Blake says.

He called for Rusten Sheskey, the Kenosha police officer who shot his nephew, to be charged. Elaine Taylor of Milwaukee says she doesn’t know the Blake family, but she attended the rally to show moral support. She says she has friends in Kenosha who witnessed the unrest that broke out for several nights following the shooting.

“They have been through some trying times themselves and I just hate that anyone has to be hurt because of the police. It could have been done with any other kind of measure but to shoot the man in his back. That was a cowardly method right there,” Taylor says.

The Wisconsin Department of Justice has tapped former Madison Police Chief Noble Wray to investigate the shooting. A decision on whether to charge Officer Sheskey could come soon. 

Marti was a reporter with WUWM from 1999 to 2021.
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