2 Additional Officers Involved in Jacob Blake Incident Named

Stun guns used against Blake were not successful, investigators say
August 28, 2020 Updated: August 28, 2020

Two police officers involved in the Jacob Blake incident were named on Friday by investigators in an update on the probe into what happened.

Vincent Arenas was directly involved while Brittany Meronek was also president, the Wisconsin Department of Justice’s Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) said.

Arenas, previously with the U.S. Capitol Police Department, has been a Kenosha officer since February 2019. Meronek joined the department in January.

The other new information: more then one stun gun was used against Blake.

Kenosha Police Department officers were dispatched Sunday to a house on 40th Street after a woman called 911 to report her boyfriend being present who was not supposed to be there.

After officers arrived, they engaged with Blake, who was wanted for sexual assault, attempting to arrest him.

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Kenosha Police Officer Rusten Sheskey in an undated photograph. (Wisconsin Department of Justice via AP)

When the initial attempt failed, officer Rusten Sheskey deployed a stun gun to try to stop Blake. When that attempt failed, Arenas also deployed his stun gun, investigators said in the update.

Both stun guns were not successful in stopping Blake, who escaped from officers before walking around his vehicle, opening the driver’s side door, and leaning forward.

While holding onto Blake’s shirt, Sheskey fired seven times into his back, the department said previously. No other officer fired their weapon.

No body camera footage is available because the police department does not have any body cameras. The incident was captured from multiple angles by bystanders.

After being shot, Blake was rushed to Froedtert Hospital in Milwaukee. He remains at the hospital.

The gunshots severed Blake’s spinal cord and shattered some of his vertebrae, attorney Benjamin Crump told reporters this week.

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Adria-Joi Watkins poses with her second cousin Jacob Blake in Evanston, Ill., in September 2019. (Courtesy Adria-Joi Watkins via AP)

“It is going to take a miracle for Jacob Blake Jr. to ever walk again,” he said.

Blake’s family plans on filing a civil lawsuit.

All the officers involved were placed on administrative leave. They are fully cooperating with investigators.

Blake’s lawyers want them fired.

State investigators plan on providing a report of the incident to the prosecutor within 30 days.

Kenosha County District Attorney Michael Graveley has said that his office will review the evidence.

“We have by law, a very narrow task in the enormity of the big issues I talked about. We are asked to review that independently garnered evidence. And we are asked, are there any crimes that a police officer has committed, that can be proven to a jury beyond a reasonable doubt?” he said.

“That is the only question” that his office will answer.

DCI investigators are leading the probe, with assistance from FBI agents, the Wisconsin State Patrol, and the Kenosha County Sheriff’s Office.

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