Kenosha officials reject damage claim sought by Jacob Blake


KENOSHA, Wis. — Officials in Kenosha, Wisconsin, have denied a claim for damages from Jacob Blake Jr., the Black man who was paralyzed when he was shot by a white police officer last summer.

Blake sought damages for medical expenses, lost wages and “pain and suffering and disfigurement,” according to the petition. Although the claim was capped at $50,000 under state law, Blake’s lawyers submitted an itemization of “special damages” in the amount of nearly $777,000 resulting from his injuries.

The Kenosha City Council voted 17-0 this week to reject Blake’s request. There was no comment or deliberation among council members, the Kenosha News reported.

City Administrator John Morrissey said Thursday that the filing of the claim was a formality that could allow Blake to sue for the damages limited by state law.

A prosecutor in January declined to file criminal charges against the officer who shot Blake seven times. Blake was shot as Officer Rusten Sheskey and two other Kenosha officers tried to arrest Blake on an outstanding warrant.

During a scuffle, a pocketknife fell from Blake’s pants. Blake has said he picked it up before heading to a vehicle to drive away with two of his children. He has said he was prepared to surrender once he put the knife in the vehicle.

Sheskey told investigators that he feared for his own safety.

Blake has filed a lawsuit accusing the officer of excessive force.

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