No Charges Filed in Jacob Blake’s Shooting


Hailey Hilsabeck

“Rusten Sheskey will not face any criminal charges for the shooting of Jacob Blake,” authorities in Kenosha County said on Tuesday, Jan. 5. 

While responding to a domestic incident on Aug. 23, 2020, police officer Sheskey shot Jacob Blake, a 29-year-old Black man, seven times in the back. Blake survived, but is now paralyzed from the waist down. 

In July, a warrant was issued for Blake’s arrest on charges of trespassing, third degree sexual assault, and disorderly conduct. On Aug. 23, the woman who had filed that complaint called 911 to report that he was at her house. 

Witnesses say Blake was trying to intervene in a fight happening outside the house between two women. He was reaching into his car, where his three kids were, when he was shot. 

The Wisconsin Department of Justice said Blake had a knife in his possession, which was found on the floorboard of his vehicle. He admitted to carrying it at the time, but he didn’t make any attempt to hurt or threaten anyone with it. 

The shooting, which was caught on camera, elicited sizable protests in Kenosha where more than 250 people were arrested. Players from WNBA team the Washington Mystics also wore white t-shirts with seven holes in the back in order to honor Blake.

According to Kenosha County District Attorney Michael Graveley, neither Sheskey nor the other police officers at the scene will face charges.

In Kenosha, there were peaceful protests after Tuesday’s announcement. 

“This is a slap in the face by the Wisconsin government and DA perpetuating systemic racism. Where was justice?” said Justin Blake, Jacob’s uncle. “It’s 2021; we’re going to call everything for what it is. He was a racist. He attempted murder on my nephew. He should be fired, indicted and convicted.”