On August 23rd, 2020, Officer Rusten Sheskey shot Jacob Blake seven times in the back, leaving him paralyzed and lucky to be alive. In the footage circulated through social media, Blake was clearly walking away calmly from Sheskey towards his vehicle, posing no threat to Sheskey’s safety, when the officer started shooting. Sheskey, a former UW-Parkside officer, was cleared of state criminal offense, claiming he was acting in self defense and was afraid of being stabbed (by a man who was walking away from him with a closed knife).

Last Friday, October 8th, the Department of Justice announced that they would not be pressing charges against Sheskey, because “there was insufficient evidence that Sheskey ‘wilfully used excessive force.’” The fact that Sheskey faces no legal repercussions for the attempted murder of a Black man proves the urgent necessity of meaningful action to combat the systemic anti-Blackness of our criminal justice system.

SDS calls a National Day of Action on October 26, 2021 to demand justice for Jacob Blake. Officer Rusten Sheskey and all police who brutalize the innocent must be prosecuted for their crimes! We need real, substantial power over our police departments, not meaningless and insufficient reforms. Civilian Police Accountability Councils offer a way to put the power back where it belongs - in the hands of the people.

Justice for Jacob Blake!
Black Lives Matter!