Kenosha mayor, law enforcement officials to hold news conference in wake of Jacob Blake shooting, protests

News conference to take place at 1 p.m.

The National Guard protect the perimeter of government buildings in Kenosha, Wis. on Thursday, Aug. 27, 2020. People gathered for the fifth night to protest the Sunday police shooting of Jacob Blake. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)
The National Guard protect the perimeter of government buildings in Kenosha, Wis. on Thursday, Aug. 27, 2020. People gathered for the fifth night to protest the Sunday police shooting of Jacob Blake. (AP Photo/Morry Gash) (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

Officials in Kenosha, Wis., where Jacob Blake was shot by officers, sparking a series of protests of police brutality and racial injustice, will give an update in the case on Friday afternoon.

Mayor John Antaramian, Kenosha Police Chief Dan Miskinis and Kenosha County Sheriff David Beth are expected to speak at 1 p.m.

The news conference will be livestreamed in this article but delays are possible. If there is not a livestream available, check back at a later time.

Kenosha County Executive Jim Kreuser will also be in attendance.

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State authorities earlier identified the officer who shot Blake as Rusten Sheskey, a seven-year veteran of the Kenosha Police Department. The other two officers were Vincent Arenas, who has been with the department since February 2019 and previously served with the U.S. Capitol Police Department, and Brittany Meronek, who joined the Kenosha police force in January.

Authorities said the officers were responding to a call about a domestic dispute when they attempted to arrest Blake, though they didn’t explain why. Sheskey shot Blake while holding onto his shirt after he and Arenas unsuccessfully used Tasers on him twice, the department said in a Friday news release. State agents later recovered a knife from the floor on the driver’s side of the vehicle, the department said. State authorities did not say Blake threatened anyone with a knife.

His shooting set off nights of unrest in the city, which led to the fatal shootings of two people and the wounding of a third.

Kyle Rittenhouse faces five felony charges, including first-degree intentional homicide and first-degree reckless homicide, and a misdemeanor charge for possession of a dangerous weapon by a minor.

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Kenosha police faced questions about their interactions with the gunman on Tuesday night. According to witness accounts and video footage, police seemingly let the gunman walk past them and leave the scene with a rifle over his shoulder and his hands in the air, as members of the crowd yelled for him to be arrested because he had shot people.

The news conference comes on the same day that thousands of people gathered at the Lincoln Memorial for a commemoration of the 1963 March on Washington. Civil rights advocates highlighted the scourge of police and vigilante violence against Black Americans following the shooting of Blake and the deaths of the two protesters.

Martin Luther King III and the Rev. Al Sharpton planned the event to decry racial violence and will highlight the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Rayshard Brooks, Ahmaud Arbery, Trayvon Martin and Eric Garner, among others.