Emergency declared, Guard mobilized ahead of Jacob Blake decision

Governor Tony Evers on Monday, Jan. 4 authorized the Wisconsin National Guard to support local law enforcement authorities in Kenosha ahead of a charging decision in the Aug. 23 shooting of Jacob Blake. Blake's family planned a march and vigil in Kenosha Monday evening.

The Kenosha Common Council Monday night unanimously approved a resolution declaring an emergency in the City of Kenosha -- granting Mayor John Antaramian emergency authority upon the announcement of the decision. The declaration is set to last eight days.

Additional safety efforts will include designation of a demonstration space, limitations on city bus routes, road closures, curfew and protective fencing, Mayor John Antaramian and Police Chief Daniel Miskinis said in a news release Sunday.

Jacob Blake's uncle, Justin, told FOX6 News he and his family hope Rusten Sheskey, the officer who shot Jacob Blake, is charged.

Justin Blake

"We need justice," said Justin Blake. "Police Officer Sheskey needs to be fired, indicted, have his day in court and convicted, and until we get that as the Blake family, we're not leaving Kenosha, Wisconsin."

"He tried to kill my son," said Jacob Blake, Sr., Jacob's father. "He didn't try to take my son down. He tried to kill my son and could've killed my grandchildren."

After the Wisconsin Department of Justice's Division of Criminal Investigation's probe of the incident was completed, the reports were sent to Noble Wray, former police chief in Madison, an independent consultant tasked with reviewing the case before conferring with Kenosha County District Attorney Michael Graveley regarding charges, if any. 

If there are no charges, the DOJ reports will be made public.

The shooting of Blake, which was recorded on video, sparked protests and violence in Kenosha.

Blake, who is Black, was shot in the back seven times after walking away from a white police officer and two others who were trying to arrest him. Sheskey shot Blake after Blake opened an SUV’s driver-side door and leaned into the vehicle.  Blake was shot seven times by the seven-year Kenosha Police Department veteran -- and left partially paralyzed.

"He’s paralyzed from the waist down, but he’s facing the challenges like a champ," said Justin Blake.

Protesters march in Kenosha, calling for justice in the police shooting of Jacob Blake

DOJ officials said Blake "admitted he had a knife in his possession," and said agents a knife from the driver’s side floorboard of Blake’s vehicle. A search of the vehicle located no additional weapons.

"He posed no threat…since you shot him at his backside," said Justin Blake.

Video of the shooting went viral, followed by days of unrest in the city. In late August, Kenosha Mayor John Antaramian announced a request for $30 million in state funding from Governor Evers to help "rebuild and heal" after Kenosha Fire reported 37 fires set the night after Blake was shot. Two nights after the shooting, two people were fatally shot, allegedly by Kyle Rittenhouse of Antioch, Illinois, now 18 years old.

"We don’t want what happened back in august to happen again in 2021," said Tanya McClean.

McClean, executive director of the "Leaders of Kenosha," helped organize Monday's march -- awaiting a charging decision.

"The goal is to bring all the community out and express that no matter what the verdict is, we’re calling for non-violence," said McClean. "We’re calling for no destruction of person, property or anything."

With fencing surrounding the Kenosha County Courthouse and plywood protecting businesses, Governor Evers Monday authorized the Wisconsin National Guard "to support local law enforcement and first responders in Kenosha," with approximately 500 troops mobilized.

"We are continuing to work with our local partners in the Kenosha area to ensure they have the state support they need, just as we have in the past," said Gov. Evers in a news release. "Our members of the National Guard will be on hand to support local first responders, ensure Kenoshans are able to assemble safely and to protect critical infrastructure as necessary."

"We had all our windows broken before," said Ron Dubrock. "We’re just trying to minimize whatever damage we can this time."

"This is not just a black and brown issue," said McClean. "We all need to coexist together. "

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Kenosha prepares for charging decision in Jacob Blake shooting

A charging decision is likely to be announced before the middle of January in the case of Jacob Blake, shot by Officer Rusten Sheskey in August.