The protest saw people gathering to call for the firing of Rusten Sheskey, the Kenosha officer who shot Jacob multiple times last August and left him paralyzed from the waist down. Earlier this month, it was announced that Sheskey—who did not face charges in the shooting—had returned to duty after previously being placed on administrative leave.
The Kenosha County Sheriff’s Department said Monday that three protesters were arrested during the protest, which took place Sunday. Justin Blake—as well as two other individuals—were arrested for what the department claimed was “disorderly conduct.” Justin was also charged with obstructing an officer.
As of Monday afternoon, all three people—who were booked into the Kenosha County Jail after being placed in a transport van—had posted bonds and were no longer in custody.
In January, Kenosha County District Attorney Michael Graveley mentioned “self-defense” when explaining why no charges would be pursued against Sheskey. In response to the decision from Wisconsin prosecutors, family attorney Ben Crump—alongside co-counsels Patrick A. Salvi II and B’Ivory LaMarr—said in a press statement that this “sends the wrong message” to police across the country.
“It says it is OK for police to abuse their power and recklessly shoot their weapon, destroying the life of someone who was trying to protect his children,” the legal team said at the time in a joint statement. “This is not the news we were hoping for, but our work is not done and hope is not lost. It is now our duty to broaden the fight for justice on behalf of Jacob and the countless other Black men and women who are victims of racial injustice and police brutality in this country. We will continue to press forward with a civil lawsuit and fight for systemic change in policing and transparency at all levels.”
In March, a federal civil rights lawsuit was filed on behalf of Jacob Blake against Rusten Sheskey.
“While Jacob Blake survived being shot six times, his devastating injuries are permanent and life-changing,” Salvi said in a news release detailing the suit, which was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin. “The bullet that severed Jacob’s spinal cord has left him paralyzed and confined to a wheelchair. Jacob now suffers from an intractable pain syndrome. After various surgical procedures and an agonizing course of physical rehabilitation, Jacob remains unable to return to his job as a security guard and relies on others to assist him with the basic needs of daily living.”