2 officers fired tasers at Jacob Blake before he was shot, Wisconsin Justice Department says

Two Kenosha police officers fired tasers in a bid to stop Jacob Blake before one of the officers shot him seven times in the back with a gun, the Wisconsin Department of Justice said on Friday. The taser deployments “were not successful in stopping Mr. Blake,” according to a press release.

Blake, a 29-year-old Black man, was shot as he opened the door of his SUV, in which three of his children were seated. Agents later recovered a knife from the floor on the driver’s side of the vehicle, the department said. Authorities did not say Blake threatened anyone with a knife.

The department had previously identified Rusten Sheskey as the Kenosha officer who shot Blake in the back with a gun. On Friday, the two other officers at the scene were identified: Vincent Arenas and Brittany Meronek.

The department said that both Sheskey and Arenas deployed tasers in failed attempts to stop Blake. Officer Meronek was at the scene but did not deploy a weapon.

Blake is now paralyzed from the waist down and recovering at Froedtert Hospital in Milwaukee. His family says he is handcuffed to his hospital bed.

Sheskey has not been charged; the shooting is under investigation by the Wisconsin Department of Justice Division of Criminal Investigation and other agencies.

Arenas has been with Kenosha Police Department since February 2019, and previously with the United States Capitol Police Department, the release said. Meronek joined Kenosha Police Department in January of this year.

The shooting of Blake on Sunday afternoon has sparked several nights of protests as well as sports boycotts.

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