Kenosha, Wisconsin City Council Denies Jacob Blake’s Damages Claims

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In the story of America, the country’s Black citizens are no stranger to being abused and then disregarded after said abuse was called out. Such is the case with 31-year-old police shooting victim Jacob Blake.

Blake, who was paralyzed after being shot by a white police officer in August 2020, filed a claim with his lawyers’ assistance for “special damages,” which totaled at about $770,000 for his medical expenses, lost wages, and “pain and suffering and disfigurement,” as a result of his injuries. 

But the Kenosha, Wisconsin City Council voted, in a 17-0 decision, against Blake’s claim, which state law had already capped at $50,000. Blake and his legal team were never given any comment or deliberation from the council members as to why the claim was denied, according to Kenosha News. City Administrator John Morrissey said Thursday that the filing of the claim was a formality that could allow Blake to sue for the damages limited by state law.

Rusten Sheskey and the other officers involved in the shooting incident with Blake were not charged by prosecutors back in January, citing evidence that was not captured on the widely shared cell phone footage as the reason not to indict. Investigators found a knife on the floorboard of Blake’s vehicle, and while Sheskey shot him while responding to a domestic disturbance—the 31-year-old father of six would not face any charges.

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A woman had called 911 saying Blake refused to return keys to a rental car. Video footage of the incident captured Blake walking away from the officer and around a vehicle, with his children inside, before Shesky shot him seven times, leaving him paralyzed.

Blake sued Shesky in March over use of excessive force.

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