Police

Kenosha Police Union Gives Its Version Of Blake Shooting

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According to Matthews, the officers were dispatched there because of a complaint that Blake was attempting to steal the caller’s keys and vehicle. Matthews said officers were aware that Blake had an open warrant for felony sexual assault before they arrived.

Blake was armed with a knife, but officers did not initially see it, Matthews said.

“The officers first saw him holding the knife while they were on the passenger side of the vehicle,” he said.

The bystander who recorded the shooting, 22-year-old Raysean White, said he saw Blake scuffling with three officers and heard them yell, “Drop the knife! Drop the knife!” before gunfire erupted. He said he didn’t see a knife in Blake’s hands. State investigators have said only that officers saw a knife on the floor of the car. They have not said whether Blake threatened anyone with it.

Matthews said officers made multiple requests to Blake to drop the knife, but he was uncooperative. He said officers used a Taser on Blake, but it did not incapacitate him.

“Blake forcefully fought with the officers, including putting one of the officers in a headlock,” Matthews said. A second stun from a Taser also did not stop him, he said.

As Blake opened the driver’s door of the SUV, Sheskey pulled on Blake’s shirt and then opened fire. Blake’s three children were in the backseat.

“Based on the inability to gain compliance and control after using verbal, physical and less-lethal means, the officers drew their firearms,” Matthews said. “Mr. Blake continued to ignore the officers’ commands, even with the threat of lethal force now present.”

The Wisconsin Department of Justice had no immediate comment on the union’s version of events. An attorney for Blake’s family did not immediately respond to emails seeking comment.

The state agency has released almost no information about Sheskey or the other two officers, Vincent Arenas and Brittany Meronek.

An annual Kenosha Police Department report indicates Sheskey was hired as an officer in 2013.

In an August 2019 interview with the Kenosha News, Sheskey said he had always wanted to go into law enforcement, noting that his grandfather served the city as a police officer for 33 years.

“What I like most is that you’re dealing with people on perhaps the worst day of their lives and you can try and help them as much as you can and make that day a little bit better,” Sheskey told the newspaper. “And that, for the most part, people trust us to do that for them. And it’s a huge responsibility, and I really like trying to help people. We may not be able to make a situation right, or better, but we can maybe make it a little easier for them to handle during that time.”

Sheskey, who appears to be white based on photographs and video, was moved to the bike patrol in 2017, according to the Kenosha News interview.

He was among a gr… (Read more)

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