Jacob Blake sues US officer who shot him in Kenosha last year

Protesters holding signs in support of Mr Jacob Blake outside the Hennepin County Government Plaza in Minneapolis, Minnesota, on Aug 24, 2020.
Protesters holding signs in support of Mr Jacob Blake outside the Hennepin County Government Plaza in Minneapolis, Minnesota, on Aug 24, 2020.PHOTO: AFP

KENOSHA, WISCONSIN (REUTERS) - Mr Jacob Blake Jr, the black man from Kenosha, Wisconsin who was shot by a police officer last year and was left paralysed from the waist down, has sued the cop who fired at him in a federal court.

Mr Blake was shot several times in the back in the presence of his young children in August, sparking several days of deadly protests against police brutality and racism in his hometown and across the country.

Earlier this year, Wisconsin prosecutors cleared Mr Rusten Sheskey, the officer involved in the shooting, saying he acted in self-defence.

Mr Blake's latest 19-page lawsuit, filed in the US District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin, sought an unspecified amount in compensation for the injuries he suffered, and "a substantial sum" in punitive damages.

His lawyers also demanded to be paid for costs, legal fees, "and such other relief as is just and equitable". Mr Blake's lawyers did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.

Protests erupted last summer after a viral cellphone video showed Mr Blake walking around the front of his car with Mr Sheskey following and opening fire after Mr Blake opened the door.

But investigators said the video was incomplete and failed to show that Mr Blake was armed with a knife and had resisted arrest.