March on Washington rallies after Jacob Blake shooting

By Melissa Macaya, Meg Wagner and Veronica Rocha, CNN

Updated 8:27 p.m. ET, August 28, 2020
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10:04 a.m. ET, August 28, 2020

Here's what we know about the officer who shot Jacob Blake

From CNN's Scott Glover and Casey Tolan

Before he was identified as the police officer captured in a viral video in which he shoots a Black man multiple times in the back, Rusten Sheskey pedaled around the lakeside city of Kenosha, Wisconsin, as part of the bike patrol and walked the shopping mall beat during the holidays.

He'd occasionally bring a squad car home from work and turn on the siren for neighborhood kids, one neighbor recalled. An American flag flies outside his home in a middle-class neighborhood.

But five days after Sheskey's shooting of 29-year-old Jacob Blake prompted protests and rioting in the typically quiet streets of Kenosha, much remains unknown about the seven-year veteran officer and what prompted him to open fire.

Authorities have declined to provide information on a number of critical questions in the turbulent days since Blake was shot. Most importantly, they have not offered any detailed explanation for why Sheskey used deadly force on Blake as he leaned into a parked car.

Police and city officials also have not responded to public records requests for Sheskey's history with the department, including any previous uses of force or disciplinary issues. According to a memo from the police chief published on the city's website, Sheskey received a one-day suspension in 2017 for a violation regarding "safe operation of department vehicles."

Meanwhile, Blake remains handcuffed to a hospital bed. He was left paralyzed from the waist down in the aftermath of the shooting, which took place in front of three of his young children who were in the car.

Dispatch records indicate that Sheskey and other officers responded to a complaint from a woman saying that Blake was not supposed to be at her residence and would not leave. She also said he had taken her keys and would not give them back.

At a news conference Wednesday, Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul said officers fired a Taser at Blake before the shooting, but that it was "not successful." Kaul said Blake admitted possessing a knife and officers recovered one from the floor of the car he was leaning into when Sheskey opened fire. Kaul did not say if Blake had brandished the weapon or what precise reason Sheskey gave for firing multiple shots.

Blake's family has demanded answers, too, wondering why Sheskey decided to use a gun to resolve the situation. At a news conference on Tuesday, Blake's family attorney Ben Crump called for the officer's arrest.

"We are demanding that the prosecutor arrest the officer who shot Jacob Blake. And we are also asking that these officers who violated the policies and their training be terminated immediately," he said.

Read more here.

Hear more from the Wisconsin attorney general on the investigation: 

9:43 a.m. ET, August 28, 2020

The Milwaukee Bucks sent Jacob Blake a signed jersey

From CNN's Melissa Alonso, Jill Martin, Leah Asmelash and David Close

Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Jacob Blake's father, Jacob Blake Sr., told CNN's Alisyn Camerota that his son is in and out of consciousness and he's not aware of the situation in Kenosha, Wisconsin.

Blake Sr. said the focus is on his son's recovery and he does not want to upset his son with news of unrest Kenosha. 

Blake Sr. also said his son received a gift from his favorite team.

"The thing that made him smile was the Milwaukee Bucks. That made him smile, and I'm from Chicago. But now I am truly a Milwaukee Bucks fan because they reached out to my son, sent a jersey that was signed by the whole organization," Blake said.

Some background: The Milwaukee Bucks' decided to boycott their playoff game following  Blake's shooting in the team's home state — a move that cascaded into a wave of similar protests across the American sports.

Soon after the Wisconsin-based team decided to not play, the NBA announced it would postpone Game 5 of three different playoff series — Bucks vs. Orlando Magic, Houston Rockets vs. Oklahoma City Thunder and Los Angeles Lakers vs. Portland Trail Blazers.

Blake's father thanks the Milwaukee Bucks:

9:29 a.m. ET, August 28, 2020

Attorney for accused Kenosha shooter says client acted in self-defense

From CNN's Kevin Flower

An attorney representing the 17-year-old accused in the fatal shootings of two protestors in Kenosha, Wisconsin reportedly said his client, Kyle Rittenhouse, was acting in self-defense when he opened fire Monday night.

In a statement to NBC news attorney John Pierce said, "This was classic self-defense and we are going to prove it. We will obtain justice for Kyle no matter how hard the fight takes or how long it takes.”

Pierce is a noted conservative lawyer whose firm has represented Mayor Rudy Giuliani, Tulsi Gabbard’s presidential campaign, George Papadopoulos, and former baseball player Lenny Dykstra. 

On Thursday Pierce tweeted that he was ready to represent while openly asking for contact information for Rittenhouse.“…I will handle his defense with a team of the best lawyers in the USA,” he tweeted.

CNN was unable to reach Pierce for comment. 

In support of the Rittenhouse defense Pierce and noted libel attorney L. Lin Wood, said their newly established #Fightback Foundation will help pay legal fees. 

On its website the #Fightback Foundation describes itself as being dedicated to defending freedom, stopping "the radical left" and "fake news media,” through lawsuits and court action.

9:28 a.m. ET, August 28, 2020

Jacob Blake's father spoke to Biden and Harris for an hour

From CNN's Melissa Alonso

Jacob Blake's father, Jacob Blake Sr., tells CNN's Alisyn Camerota that he spoke to presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Kamala Harris for an hour over the phone.

"It was like I was speaking to my uncle and one of my sisters, literally," Blake said.

Blake Sr. referred to Biden and Harris as President and Vice President.

"I appreciate everything that they've done and everything that they're doing, because they keep my son in mind, and President Biden kept telling me his own issues with his family that he identifies with what I'm going through. I didn't have to keep telling him, he knew it," he said.

President Trump has not said Jacob Blake's name publicly to which Blake Sr. said "If I have to tell you I want you to do something, and you don't want to do it. There's no need for me to mention it." 

Last night during his Republican National convention nomination acceptance speech, Trump glossed over why people are protesting in Kenosha and restated his commitment to law enforcement. He condemned the "rioting, looting, arson and violence" occurring in "Democrat-run cities," and included Kenosha in the list of those cities. 

9:18 a.m. ET, August 28, 2020

Kenosha shooting suspect will have a hearing this morning 

From CNN's Christina Maxouris, Paul P. Murphy and Nicole Chavez

Kyle Rittenhouse, left with backwards cap, walks along Sheridan Road in Kenosha, Wisconsin, on Tuesday, August 25, with another armed civilian.
Kyle Rittenhouse, left with backwards cap, walks along Sheridan Road in Kenosha, Wisconsin, on Tuesday, August 25, with another armed civilian. Adam Rogan/The Journal Times via AP

The suspect in the Kenosha, Wisconsin, fatal shooting is facing multiple homicide charges, court records show. There will be a hearing this morning on his case.

Kyle Rittenhouse, 17, is accused of a single shooting incident during a night of unrest in Kenosha earlier this week that left two people dead and a third person seriously injured, authorities have said.

Since his arrest on Wednesday, the Antioch, Illinois, teenager had been charged with first-degree intentional homicide, Antioch Police said.

Prosecutors filed more charges against Rittenhouse on Thursday, adding one count of reckless homicide, a count for attempted intentional homicide and two counts of recklessly endangering safety.

Court records show he's also being charged with possession of a dangerous weapon while under the age of 18, which is a misdemeanor.

Rittenhouse remains in custody of the Lake County Judicial System awaiting extradition to Wisconsin, Antioch police have said.

The teenager is a former member of a youth police cadet program with an affinity for guns, according to police and online profiles.

In Grayslake, Illinois — about 10 miles from Antioch and 30 miles from Kenosha — Police Chief Phillip L. Perlini said the suspect in the shooting was a former Public Safety Cadet.

That program is described online as offering youth the opportunity to explore careers in law enforcement. Due to the person's age and state law, the chief said the department couldn't comment further.

The teenager was arrested Wednesday and charged with first-degree intentional homicide, Antioch Police said in a news release. He turned himself in at the Antioch police headquarters.

Read more here.

9:17 a.m. ET, August 28, 2020

Jacob Blake has "not been afforded the rights of a human," his father says

From CNN's Melissa Alonso

"My son has not been afforded the rights of a human," Jacob Blake's father, Jacob Blake Sr., told CNN's Alisyn Camerota on New Day. 

Blake Sr. said his son is "not been treated like a human. He's a father. He's not a deadbeat dad."

Jacob Blake was trying to get his sons to safety when he he was shot by Kenosha Police officers, his father said. 

 "But before he could get them out of the car, he said he was just counting shots” Blake Sr. said. “And I guess he went, he lost consciousness around number four or five," Blake Sr. continued.

Blake Sr. and his attorney Ben Crump said brown people "get treated in this way," because there are two justice systems. The "17-year-old Caucasian shot and killed two people, and blew another man's arm off on his way back to Antioch, Illinois. He got to go home," Blake Sr. said.

"My son got ICU and paralyzed from the waist down. Those are the two justice systems right in front of you," said Blake Sr. 

Crump responded to questions about the lack of transparency from Kenosha Police about what led to Blake being shot; although police officials have said Blake had a knife in his car.

Police "use this tactic to try to assassinate his character and justify these things when it's convenient for them," Crump said. 

Watch a portion of the interview:

9:15 a.m. ET, August 28, 2020

Harris says she believes officer who shot Jacob Blake should be charged

From CNN’s Daniella Diaz

NBC
NBC

In an interview with NBC that aired on the Today Show, Democratic vice presidential candidate Kamala Harris said she believes that in the police shooting of Jacob Blake, “based on what I've seen, it seems that the officer should be charged.”

“Everyone should be afforded due process. I agree with that completely. But here's the thing. In America we know these cases keep happening. And we have had too many black men in America who have been the subject of this kind of conduct. And it's got to stop,"  she added.
8:51 a.m. ET, August 28, 2020

Activists will gather for another March on Washington today

From CNN's Harmeet Kaur

As protests continue in Wisconsin and around the country following the police shooting of Jacob Blake, more activists are gathering in DC today for another March on Washington.

Martin Luther King III was five years old when his father stood before a quarter of a million people from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial and spoke the words "I have a dream."

Exactly 57 years have passed since crowds packed each inch of the National Mall to demand civil rights and economic opportunity. In some ways, a lot has changed. In others, much has stayed the same.

So King will be in the nation's capital on Friday, along with the Rev. Al Sharpton and tens of thousands of other expected attendees, for another March on Washington.

The march will be a commemoration of a seminal moment in US history. It will also be also a commitment to continuing many of the same fights: ending police violence, dismantling systemic racism and ensuring access to the ballot box.

"Dad would be very proud that people are coming together to stand up against injustice," King told CNN. "But certainly very sad that we're still attempting to get justice."

Friday's event — called the "Commitment March: Get Your Knee Off Our Necks" — will bring to an end a devastating week, one that saw yet another Black man shot by police. It follows a summer that has seen a global outcry over the killings of Black Americans at the hands of law enforcement. And it takes place in the midst of a pandemic that has disproportionately affected people of color.

8:56 a.m. ET, August 28, 2020

Jacob Blake is in pain and handcuffed to a hospital bed, his father says

From CNN's Melissa Alonso 

Jacob Blake's father, Jacob Blake Sr., on CNN's "New Day" on August 28.
Jacob Blake's father, Jacob Blake Sr., on CNN's "New Day" on August 28. CNN

Jacob Blake's father, Jacob Blake Sr., tells CNN's Alisyn Camerota that his son is "fighting for his life." 

Mr. Blake said his son is sedated and medicated because "he's in so much pain." 

Blake became emotional when describing his visit to see his son in the hospital two days ago.

"His eyes were squinting when I walked into the room and I thought they were squinting because he was in pain. But when I got to his side, he grabbed my hands and began to weep and he told me that he was hallucinating and then he said I love you, Daddy, Daddy, I love you," he said.

Blake says his son's leg is handcuffed to the bed, despite the fact that he is paralyzed. Family attorney Ben Crump said there is no reason for that, and "it follows the pattern of deliberate indifference, and excessive force."

Blake has not discussed the shooting incident or what led up to it with his son. "I don't want to know anything right now," said Blake Sr.

Watch the interview: