CHARLOTTE, N.C. — As the world watched the verdict come down in the case against Kyle Rittenhouse, the teenager charged with shooting three men during unrest in Kenosha, Wisconsin; Jacob Blake, Sr. was devastated.
“It’s unacceptable,” said Blake.
Blake’s son, Jacob Blake, Jr. is now paralyzed after he was shot seven times in the back by a Kenosha Police Officer in August of 2020. The shooting sparked outrage and protests which ultimately led to the deadly shooting by Rittenhouse.
A jury said Rittenhouse acted in self-defense when he killed two men and injured another.
“Imagine if that little boy was Black. That 17-year-old. He’s a little boy. Imagine he was Black,” said Blake.
Kenosha Police Officer Rusten Sheskey has been cleared of wrongdoing by investigators. The Police Chief says Sheskey’s actions were within department policy.
Prosecutors chose not to file charges against the officer who has since returned to the force. In October, the Justice Department announced it wouldn’t be filing civil rights charges against Sheskey.
The shooting blew out two vertebrae in Blake’s spine.
“He’s in pain, daily. Some days he has good days. Some days he has bad days,” said Blake, Sr. “No one is really recognizing what he’s going through. He can no longer run with my grandchildren.”
Blake filed a lawsuit against Sheskey. The family is hoping the Justice Department will reopen its investigation into Sheskey.
“I won’t stop representing for my son,” Blake, Sr. said. “When I’m buried, I’ll be buried in a Jacob Blake shirt. Justice for my son.”