The family of Jacob Blake is calling for the city of Kenosha, Wisconsin, to apologize for not warning them of police officer Rusten Sheskey's return to full duty. Sheskey is the officer who shot Jacob Blake in the back when he ignored commands and was armed with a knife last summer, which sparked multiple riots in the city.
Kenosha police were called to a domestic incident by a female caller who had previously accused him of sexual assault, saying he was not allowed to be near her and he had stolen her car keys.
Blake's family is also calling for Sheskey to be fired. A small number of BLM protesters gathered at the Kenosha police department on Sunday to issue their demands. They held a sit-in right outside the main entrance to the police station.
The Kenosha County District Attorney's Office announced on January 5 they would not be criminally charging Sheskey.
In addition to an apology and Sheskey's firing, the family is also demanding:
- Immediate public release of every departmental investigation completed in regards to Rusten Sheskey and Jacob Blake
- An explanation for why Rusten Sheskey was issued a gun while his use of force/conduct was allegedly being investigated.
- An explanation of what the department's plans are for Rusten moving forward.
Hour 5 of the sit-in. Kenosha PD told me it is aware of the protest, and received the demands. However they say the Chief’s office has not reviewed it. Some officers just approached the group, asking if they can let someone inside. Group says not until it hears from chief. Watch pic.twitter.com/YhzXXt6rbi— Courtney Sisk (@Courtney_SiskTV) April 26, 2021
Organizers for Sunday's protest repeated the false claim Blake was unarmed during the shooting, according to TMJ4.
“Justice comes before the bullet, but our community deserves to heal," Tanya McLean, Executive Director of Leaders of Kenosha, said in a statement. "Safety and healing can’t happen when an officer who fired seven shots into an unarmed Black man’s back -- on a block where our children walk to school and our families go to church -- returns to work like nothing happened. All of us -- Black, white, brown, native and newcomer -- deserve to be safe in our own neighborhoods, and that starts with accountability for the attempted murder of Jacob Blake."
The resulting BLM riots from the incident in August were devastating to the downtown area of Kenosha, with multiple buildings being looted and burned down. Townhall was on the ground during the riots last year.
Quick update on the Kenosha riots: pic.twitter.com/JEKulj2UZY— Julio Rosas (@Julio_Rosas11) August 25, 2020