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Jacob Blake files new lawsuit against Kenosha, retired chief, officers involved in shooting


By James Stratton

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    KENOSHA, Wisconsin (WISN) — Jacob Blake, the man shot seven times in the back by a Kenosha police officer in 2020, filed a new lawsuit against the city of Kenosha, the police officers involved that day and the city’s former police chief.

The federal lawsuit, filed Wednesday, alleges the defendants violated Blake’s Fourth and 14th Amendment rights and failed to protect him from serious harm. It requests payment for pain and loss from the shooting.

A previous lawsuit filed by Blake was dropped last year.

The current lawsuit names the city of Kenosha, retired Police Chief Daniel Miskinis, officers Rusten Sheskey, Brittany Meronek and Vincent Arenas, along with “John Doe” officers.

On Aug. 23, 2020, Blake was attending a birthday party, and police responded to a domestic dispute. Blake was shot seven times in the back, while video showed him getting into a car. The district attorney declined to file charges against Officer Sheskey. Protesters marched in the streets and National Guard troops were sent into the city in the days and weeks after the shooting.

In the latest federal lawsuit, Blake claims officers violated his Fourth Amendment right when using excessive force and that he “suffered catastrophic, permanent injuries as a result of the hereinafter actions of Rusten Sheskey, Defendants Meronek, Arenas and John Doe Officers use of force was also objectively unreasonable.”

It states the city and former police chief violated Blake’s 14th Amendment right by failing to train and supervise officers. It goes on, stating officers and the city violated his Fourth Amendment right and denied him equal protection, alleging that Blake’s race was a “motivating factor” in the decision to try to use excessive force. It adds that Officer Sheskey and others failed to protect Blake. Finally, it requests payment — but doesn’t state an amount — and asks for a jury trial.

A spokesperson for the city of Kenosha told WISN 12 News the city has not yet received a copy of the lawsuit.

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