Kenosha braces for unrest as charging decision looms in Jacob Blake shooting

NOW: Kenosha braces for unrest as charging decision looms in Jacob Blake shooting


KENOSHA, Wis. (CBS 58) -- The Kenosha Police Department says city leaders are taking precautionary efforts to ensure public safety ahead of an announcement on the charging decision regarding the shooting on Jacob Blake back on August 23.

Monday afternoon, Jan. 4, Gov. Tony Evers authorized the Wisconsin National Guard to support law enforcement in Kenosha. 

“We are continuing to work with our local partners in the Kenosha area to ensure they have the state support they need, just as we have in the past,” said Gov. Evers. “Our members of the National Guard will be on hand to support local first responders, ensure Kenoshans are able to assemble safely, and to protect critical infrastructure as necessary.”

Fences and barriers have been put up around the courthouse in anticipation of the decision. 

“I think everyone is concerned for the most part because no matter what happens half the people are going to be happy, half the people are going to be angry," said Thomas Meyer, who owns a pub in Kenosha. 

Kenosha activists and the family of Jacob Blake held rally on Monday, as they wait to find out whether the police officer who shot Blake seven times will be charged.


The Jacob Blake shooting sparked unrest in Kenosha back in August. Cellphone video captured Blake being shot seven times by Kenosha Officer Rusten Sheskey. 

Rusten Sheskey by Investigators say Blake's girlfriend called police because he was not allowed to be on the property.

Alvin Owens is one of the activists who is part of the group "Leaders of Kenosha." He says they have led peaceful protests for Blake during the four months since the shooting. 

Owens says his group would like to see Sheskey fired and charged for the shooting. 

"Our city wants fairness and they want justice because if it were to happen to their family they’ll want it. Yes, things happened in Kenosha before and know how it affects minority communities -- or as they call it African American communities -- Black and Brown communities and representation is very important so when something happens to a Black and Brown person in a city like Kenosha it affects everybody in that community," said Owens. 

Also on Monday, the Kenosha Common Council approved an emergency resolution that they hope will keep order in the city following Kenosha County District Attorney Michael Graveley's decision. The decision is expected to come in the first two weeks of January. City and county officials aren't saying what date the decision to file charges will come down.

Mayor Antaramian and Chief Miskinis announced road closures and potential traffic disruptions as the city prepares for the announcement. 

These measures are meant to ensure the safety of the public, neighborhoods, businesses, and protestors.

There will be an increased police presence around the Public Safety Building, courthouse campus and throughout the city of Kenosha. There may be closures of the Public Safety Building, Kenosha County Courthouse and Dinosaur Museum.

Transportation Disruptions

  • Sheridan Road from 52nd Street to 60th Street is closed.
  • 53rd Street, 54th Street, 55th Street and 56th Street from Sheridan Road west to the railroad tracks are closed. The train station will be open, but commuters should allow extra time to get to and from the station.
  • Modifications to city bus routes or the temporary cancellation of city bus services are possible.
  • Access to the Metra train station may be interrupted, so commuters should allow extra time
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