KENOSHA, Wis. (CBS) — Following a protest on Sunday at which Jacob Blake’s uncle and two others were arrested, Kenosha, Wisconsin police Chief Daniel Miskinis said the department would not “respond to demands” or “entertain the unlawful termination of a police officer.”
The rally on Sunday called for Rusten Sheskey, the officer who shot Blake back in August, to be fired. Some participants were holding signs also calling for charges against Sheskey.
Sheskey shot Blake seven times during an arrest. The shooting left Blake partially paralyzed.
Sheskey returned to active duty recently after being placed on administrative leave. He will not face charges in the incident.
“We’ll continue to demand justice until we find justice,” said Blake’s father, Jacob Blake Sr.
The protesters have a list of demands, including an explanation of police policies and why Sheskey was not found to be in violation of them.
On Monday, Miskinis said he was “extremely disappointed” that some of those making demands were people who have had regular contact with him or a member of his executive staff. He also said the police department does not respect demands.
“We are always open to constructive communication; however, we cannot effectively communicate with those that seek a spotlight to create and further facilitate a false narrative. Community growth, building relationships – these ideas need to be our focus, not creating barriers,” Miskinis said in the statement. “Kenosha Police will not respond to demands, nor will we entertain the unlawful termination of a police officer.”
Miskinis said in the statement that the Kenosha Police Department has already met with many people in the community and participated in listening sessions, and that the department is participating with Kenosha Mayor John Anataramian’s plan for equity and inclusion. Miskinis added that a body camera program is expected to begin later this year.
“These steps are progress and we will continue working to improve our relationships with all of Kenosha” Miskinis said in the statement.
At the protest on Sunday, Jacob Blake’s uncle – Justin Blake – was arrested, along with two others – Jonathan Barker and Joseph Cadinali. They were accused of disorderly conduct, and Justin Blake was also charged with obstructing an officer, according to CBS 58 Milwaukee.
The Kenosha County Sheriff’s Department sad said the protest was peaceful, but protesters blocked the doors to the Kenosha County Public Safety Building, CBS 58 reported. As a result, many people who came to the building had to be escorted in through a secure employee entrance or just decided not to go in at all, officials told the station.
By 10 p.m., the sheriff’s department said only four protesters remained seated in front of the doors, with three more off to the side of the entrance. One of the four protesters removed herself, while the other three were arrested, CBS 58 reported.
Two weeks ago this Tuesday, Kenosha police Chief Daniel Miskinis said in a statement that the Blake shooting on Aug. 23, 2020 was investigated by an outside agency and reviewed by an independent expert as well as the Kenosha County District Attorney’s office. There was also an internal police investigation.
As of March 31, Sheskey had returned to the force from administrative leave, the statement said.
“Although this incident has been reviewed at multiple levels, I know that some will not be pleased with the outcome; however, given the facts, the only lawful and appropriate decision was made,” Miskinis said in the statement.
On that August day, Sheskey, who is white, shot Blake, 29, who is Black, seven times. Blake was left paralyzed from the waist down.
Kenosha County District Attorney Michael Graveley announced back in January that no officers would be charged in Blake’s shooting.
Attorneys for Jacob Blake filed a lawsuit against Sheskey in late March.