KENOSHA, Wis. - Community organizers gathered Saturday, Aug. 21 for a "Justice for Jacob Blake" rally ahead of the one-year anniversary of the police shooting of Blake Aug. 23, 2020.
Blake’s uncle said the family is still in pursuit of justice.
"This is the first annual event," said Justin Blake. "We are encouraging everybody to continue to support little Jake."
Justin Blake and other organizers held the community rally aimed at promoting unity ahead of the one-year anniversary of his nephew, Jacob Blake, being shot multiple times by Kenosha Police Officer Rusten Sheskey.
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"We didn’t choose to go down this path," said Jacob Blake, Sr., Jacob Blake's father. "We were chosen."
Investigators say officers were responding to a domestic incident on Aug. 23, 2020, and say Blake was armed with a knife with a warrant for his arrest. Officers used a Taser and attempted to arrest Blake, but it’s when Blake opened the door to his vehicle and leaned inside that shots were fired at him. Blake’s family and supporters say Officer Sheskey used excessive force and should never have pulled the trigger. Blake survived but is now paralyzed.
"He has a new doctor that’s trying to help him with his pain management," said Justin Blake.
The shooting sparked outrage, along with days of protests and unrest. It also sparked conversations about race, equality and police brutality. Many drew comparisons to the police treatment of Kyle Rittenhouse, who was armed when he walked by authorities during a night of demonstrations. He’s accused of killing two protestors and injuring a third. He’s currently awaiting trial.
"I would like to see justice for all, not for some," said Jacob Blake Sr.
In January, Kenosha prosecutors announced no charges would be filed against Officer Sheskey or Blake. Sheskey returned to the job, while Blake’s family says they are exploring all legal options. For now, they want to see Sheskey off the police force.
"We’re here for the long haul," said Justin Blake.