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Black News and Black Views with a Whole Lotta Attitude

Did Wisconsin Officers Allegedly Torture Jacob Blake’s Uncle?

Justin Blake filed a civil rights lawsuit against Kenosha County deputies for what he alleges as state-sponsored torture

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Justin Blake (C) leads a protest march past the Kenosha County Courthouse after the jury retired for the evening in the trial of Kyle Rittenhouse on November 17, 2021, in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Rittenhouse is accused of shooting three demonstrators, killing two of them, during a night of unrest that erupted in Kenosha after a police officer shot Jacob Blake seven times in the back while being arrested in August 2020. Rittenhouse, from Antioch, Illinois, was 17 at the time of the shooting and armed with an assault rifle. He faces counts of felony homicide, and felony attempted homicide.
Justin Blake (C) leads a protest march past the Kenosha County Courthouse after the jury retired for the evening in the trial of Kyle Rittenhouse on November 17, 2021, in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Rittenhouse is accused of shooting three demonstrators, killing two of them, during a night of unrest that erupted in Kenosha after a police officer shot Jacob Blake seven times in the back while being arrested in August 2020. Rittenhouse, from Antioch, Illinois, was 17 at the time of the shooting and armed with an assault rifle. He faces counts of felony homicide, and felony attempted homicide.
Photo: Nathan Howard (Getty Images)

It, unfortunately, seems Jacob Blake’s family has encountered another potential instance of police brutality. Justin Blake, the uncle of Jacob Blake, filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against the Kenosha County Sheriff’s Office and its employees on Tuesday, as noted by the Associated Press.

The lawsuit alleges Blake was subject to torture tactics by police officers during his arrest while attending April 2021. Attorneys for Blake state that the sheriff’s deputies arrested Blake and strapped him into an emergency restraint chair for almost seven hours. While asking him questions, the lawsuit states officers recognized Justin as Jacob Blake’s uncle and became more aggressive because he exercised his right to remain silent.

Blake alleges his neck, back, and shoulders were injured in the encounter. The lawsuit itself wants to end the “ restraint chair” punishment, deletion of his arrest records, and unspecified damages.

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From Associated Press:

“He was immobile, and restraints were tightly tied to his legs, arms, and he had a horse-like collar strap that went over his head and over his chest,” the lawsuit states, even though Blake was never a danger to himself or others.

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In response to Kenosha News, the sheriff’s department attorney Sam Hall denied any wrongdoing in the matter.

“The restraint chair is an approved law enforcement tool used nationally in the corrections setting and is a vital part of ensuring safety of inmates and officers in a jail,” Hall said in a statement. “We will be providing a robust defense in this litigation to establish that the use of the restraint chair was appropriate in this circumstance.”

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Justin was among three protestors arrested for disorderly conduct while protesting a Wisconsin prosecutor’s decision not to charge Kenosha police officer Rusten Sheskey in the shooting of Jacob Blake. Sheskey shot Blake during a domestic disturbance call in August 2020 which left him paralyzed from the waist down.