Blake drops civil rights lawsuit against Wisconsin officer

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Jacob Blake has dropped his federal civil rights lawsuit against the Wisconsin police officer who shot him during a domestic disturbance and left him paralyzed from the waist down.

Neither attorneys for Blake, whose August 2020 shooting sparked the protests in which Kyle Rittenhouse killed two men and injured a third, nor Kenosha officer Rusten Sheskey said in their court documents why the lawsuit was dropped, including if a settlement had been reached.

A man who answered the phone at the office of Blake’s attorney, Patrick Salvi II, hung up when asked about the decision to drop the lawsuit, and Sheskey’s attorney, Kenneth Battle, did not not immediately respond to a voicemail or email.

Sheskey, who is white, shot Blake, who is black, after Blake resisted arrest during the unrest and appeared to turn on Sheskey with a knife. Blake was then wanted under a warrant of arrest for sexual assault.

Prosecutors cleared Sheskey of foul play and later dropped sexual assault charges against Blake as part of a plea deal. Blake filed a civil rights lawsuit in March 2021, alleging Sheskey used excessive force against him.

Court records say lawyers for the two men filed a notice on Friday saying they had agreed to dismiss the case with prejudice, meaning Blake cannot refile it. U.S. District Judge JP Stadtmueller ordered the case dismissed Monday.

Rittenhouse, who was 17 and lived near Antioch, Illinois, when he shot the three protesters, was acquitted of all charges in November.

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