Kenosha city council denies Jacob Blake’s $50k damage claim for police shooting

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KENOSHA, Wis. (WTVO) — The Kenosha City Council voted 17-0 to deny a claim by Jacob Blake for $50,000 in damages after he was paralyzed in a police shooting last year.

Blake sought damages for medical expenses, lost wages and “pain and suffering and disfigurement,” according to the Kenosha News.

Blake’s legal team has also filed a federal civil lawsuit against the city.

Officers were dispatched on Aug. 23 because of a complaint that Blake was attempting to steal the caller’s keys and vehicle. Union attorney Brendan Matthews said officers were aware that Blake had an open warrant for felony sexual assault before they arrived.

Officer Rusten Sheskey was among officers responding to a woman who had reported her boyfriend was not supposed to be around. Cellphone video shows Blake, 29, walking to the driver-side door of an SUV as officers follow him with guns drawn, shouting. As Blake opens the door and leans into the SUV, Sheskey grabs his shirt from behind and opens fire.

The Kenosha police union said Blake was armed with a knife, and Sheskey ordered him several times to drop it but he would not. Sheskey’s attorney, Brendan Matthews, said Sheskey fired because Blake started turning toward the officer while holding a knife.

State investigators had said only that officers saw a knife on the floor of the SUV and hadn’t said whether Blake threatened anyone with it. The officers were not equipped with body cameras.

Blake’s three children are said to have been inside the car at the time.

Video of Blake’s shooting on August 29th spurred riots in the streets in which several businesses were set on fire.

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