Aug 26, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Wisconsin Justice Department releases initial account of Jacob Blake shooting

Police take security measurements during a third night of unrest on August 25, 2020 in Kenosha

Protesters in Kenosha. Photo: Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

The Wisconsin Department of Justice released its initial account describing the events before and after officers shot Jacob Blake, a 29-year-old Black man, last Sunday evening,

The state of play: The department says officers were sent to a residence after a woman claimed her boyfriend was on the property and was not supposed to be. Officers allegedly tried to arrest Blake, initially using a taser they say did not work.

  • Blake walked to his car and Kenosha Police Officer Rusten Sheskey — a seven-year veteran of the department who is being identified for the first time — fired his weapon seven times into Blake's back, according to the account.
  • No other officer was reported to fire a weapon.
  • During the investigation following the initial incident, Blake told officers he had a knife in his possession, which was later recovered from the driver’s side floorboard of his car. Officers did not find any other weapons in his car.
  • The Kenosha Police Department does not have body cameras available for its officers.

The big picture: Kenosha has been in a state of chaos since the shooting, which left Blake paralyzed. The incident has set off protests throughout Kenosha and across the country against police brutality.

  • Two people died after gunfire erupted during demonstrations in the area on Tuesday night. 17-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse has been arrested and charged with first-degree intentional homicide.
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