Jacob Blake's uncle files federal civil rights suit alleging 'torture' during 2021 protest arrest

NOW: Jacob Blake’s uncle files federal civil rights suit alleging ’torture’ during 2021 protest arrest

KENOSHA, Wis. (CBS 58) -- A federal civil rights lawsuit was filed on behalf of Jacob Blake's uncle, Justin Blake, Tuesday, Aug. 23.

The date marks the second anniversary of the police-involved shooting that left Jacob Blake paralyzed.

Attorneys allege Justin Blake was "tortured" by Kenosha County authorities after he was arrested during a protest in April of 2021.

Kenosha County Sheriff David Beth and Kenosha County sheriff's deputies are among the defendants listed in the suit.

In April 2021, Justin Blake and others staged a sit-in outside the Kenosha Public Safety Building to protest the return of Kenosha police officer Rusten Sheskey from administrative duty. Sheskey was the officer who shot Jacob Blake, leaving the man paralyzed and sparking days of protest and violence in Kenosha in August 2020. It was after Justin Blake was arrested he and his lawyer allege abuse.

"He was summarily arrested and then tortured by those that put him in custody," Justin Blake's attorney Kimberley Motley told CBS 58. "He was forced to be put in a chair and essentially a torture chair."

The lawsuit says Blake was, "tightly strapped" into the chair for almost seven hours and as a result suffered, "permanent damage" throughout his body.

Blake described the injuries.

"Severe problems with our shoulder and our neck, yet to be determined what these are but there's a definite pain that does not stop all day and definitely throughout the night is persisting," Blake said in an interview.

Blake and his attorney say they want accountability of the department.

"We have to push this system to the max," Blake said. "There is some very ill things behind these walls in these precincts and the officers patrolling our communities."

Blake's attorney Kimberley Motley said she hopes to be able to release images of the chair used by Kenosha County deputies to highlight how it's used and try to push for it to be discontinued by law enforcement.

An attorney for the department sent CBS 58 the following statement:

"Kenosha County denies the wrongdoing alleged in the lawsuit filed by Mr. Blake. 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. 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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