Huh? The FBI “lost” drone footage from Rittenhouse shooting? Why was there a FBI drone there in the first place?

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KENOSHA, WI- We’ve reported a couple of times about the FBI’s somewhat “confusing” involvement in two high-profile incidents—the alleged “kidnapping” plot of Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and the most bogus “insurrection” in world history, the Jan. 6 Capitol siege.

Now, we’re finding out the country’s “pre-eminent” law enforcement agency was likewise present in Kenosha, WI., on the night Kyle Rittenhouse is accused of killing two men and shooting another.

For anyone who has watched the onset of Rittenhouse’s trial this week, we have been treated to what can only be referred to, as RedState notes as a “dumpster fire.” In fact, so bad is the prosecution that they have basically laid out the case for the defense.

To make matters worse for the prosecution, even the judge’s statements have largely seemed to, intentionally or not, favor the defense. For example, the judge ruled the prosecution couldn’t refer to the two men Rittenhouse shot in self-defense as “victims,” and rightly so. Clearly by referring to them as “victims,” that assumes Rittenhouse is guilty of “something.”

During the trial this past week, the prosecution introduced video footage of the scene of the shooting, showing the mayhem of the riot in Kenosha from various angles.

An FBI drone video was introduced which showed an aerial view of the shooting. Wait, the FBI had a drone flying over the riot in Kenosha?

For what purpose? Fourth Amendment anyone? As RedState asks, why did the FBI deploy a drone over the scene in Kenosha? Why for example didn’t the FBI deploy drones over, say Seattle or Portland or any other city which was the scene of daily riots in the post-George Floyd world?

Given what we now know about the Whitmer and Jan. 6 cases, that being that the FBI was deeply involved in both “plots,” is it beyond the realm of possibility that the FBI perhaps had some involvement in stirring the pot in Kenosha?

Why else would they be conducting surveillance in this area? This clearly wasn’t done as a means to prevent what was happening from occurring.

And why were the feds involved in what was clearly a local law enforcement matter? Having the drone flying in that specific area? As numerous media outlets noted at the time, the Kenosha riots weren’t dedicated to the one specific area where Rittenhouse fired the fatal shots.

Does anyone else find it odd that the drone just happened to be directly over the Rittenhouse shooting at the specific time when the shots were fired?

The Kenosha riots were widespread through various parts of the city; how did this one drone happen to be in the area where the incident which once again drummed up national debate over guns happened?

Oh, this wasn’t the only FBI drone flying in the area? Ok, so how many drones did the FBI have flying over Kenosha? There are simply a ton of questions that the presence of either one FBI drone or a dozen FBI drones presents.

For example, did the FBI coordinate with the Kenosha Police Department and the Wisconsin State Police and if so, did they provide video feed from the drones to local and state law enforcement? Were these agencies even aware that the FBI had drones available which would help them respond to crimes on the ground?

What about crimes in progress…were local and state authorities made aware of crimes in progress so they could direct law enforcement assets to those areas? Moreover, were any crimes in Kenosha either stopped or prevented by the FBI drones.

Among other questions that need to be answered is how many people (besides Rittenhouse) were arrested and charged with crimes based on the drone surveillance video? Any?

Obviously given the technology of advanced drones, video obtained from them should be available to charge people who engaged in crimes such as vandalism, arson and so on. Was that done?

The Daily Caller reported that last Tuesday, video footage taken from the FBI drone came to light during the prosecution’s case on day one of the trial. According to Jack Posobiec of Human Events, the FBI had in its possession an HD version of the video, however never told the defense of its existence.

The footage, in grainy black-and-white  was shot from the FBI surveillance drone, and was shown to the jury during the testimony of an FBI agent, Brandon Craimin. Think something is weird about this whole thing? Well it gets much weirder.

In private, the FBI testified that they had another version of the video shot in HD, or high-definition, however this was not supplied to the defense, Human Events reported.

When they were asked for a copy of the tape by the defense, the FBI denied the request and then claimed the video no longer existed.

Prosecutors questioned the FBI agent about the aerial footage, and under cross-examination, the defense asked for the tail number of the FBI drone, which led to an objection by prosecutors. Jurors were dismissed as the judge, Bruce Schroeder asked to sidebar the issue to discuss the aerial footage.

During the sidebar, Rittenhouse’s lead lawyer—Mark Richards—indicated he believed there was additional footage captured by the FBI, which was no longer available, then claimed it was “preposterous” that the FBI allegedly lost the footage.

Then, in an amazing statement, Thomas Binger, the lead prosecutor said in regard to the FBI’s drone footage that “the federal government is not under our control,” to which the judge interrupted, “I beg your pardon?” interrupting Binger.

“I don’t get this,” Schroeder was said to say. “This is a criminal prosecution…if there is going to be cloak and dagger stuff. What’s going on?”

Schroeder later instructed prosecutors to call on a different witness, and said the issue of the drone would be addressed later on.

So here we have a young man, whose life is on the line and we have the FBI actively involved in an apparent coverup of the shooting, conveniently losing clear video footage which could possibly lead to his exoneration.

So there are a ton of questions that need to be answered by someone. The most important one is why was the drone (or drones) present in Kenosha in the first place?

Was the FBI involved in ginning up the crowd, much as what we’ve seen in the Jan. 6 incident or were they somehow involved in the planning of segments of the Kenosha riots?

If there was one drone, how did it happen to be in the exact place at the exact time where the penultimate incident of that riot occurred? What was the purpose of having drones there if they weren’t used to identify and prosecute those who were engaged in the mayhem and destruction?

If there is one thing we have learned over the past five years, the FBI leadership are not good guys. They helped facilitate an attempt to sway the 2016 presidential election, continued trying to undermine a sitting president, helped hatch a “plot” to “kidnap” the governor of Michigan and were up to their elbows in the Jan. 6 “insurrection.”

As usual, more questions than answers.

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For more on the Kenosha shooting that sparked the riots, we invite you to:

DIG DEEPER

KENOSHA, WI- On Friday, October 8th, the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced that the police officer who shot Jacob Blake back in August 2020 will not face federal charges. 

According to reports, the Blake family was notified of this decision by officials from the DOJ’s Civil Rights Division and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Easter District of Wisconsin. Days after the shooting, the DOJ launched its own investigation.

In a press release, the DOJ stated there is not enough evidence to prove the officer used excessive force or violated Blake’s federal rights.

It stated that federal prosecutors had reviewing evidence obtained by the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) and state investigators and determined that there wasn’t reason to believe that Officer Rusten Sheskey had acted with the deliberate and specific intent to deprive Blake of his constitutional rights.

The statement read, in part:

“After a careful and thorough review, a team of experienced federal prosecutors determine that insufficient evidence exists to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the KDP officer willfully violated the federal criminal civil rights statutes. Accordingly, the review of this incident has been closed without federal prosecution.”

Sheskey was among the officers who encountered Blake, who was wanted on a felony warrant for sex assault, after responding to a call from the mother of his children, who said he was violating a restraining order and was trying to take their kids and her vehicle. 

Blake resisted being taken into custody and was not subdued when cops fired stun guns at him. He then tried to get into his estranged girlfriend’s SUV, which contained his three sons, and Sheskey grabbed his shirt.

Prosecutors stated that video showed Blake turning towards Sheskey with a knife, prompted the officer to open fire.

According to reports, at the time of the shooting, Blake was wanted on charges of third-degree sexual assault, trespassing, and disorderly conduct in connection with domestic abuse that occurred at the same address. 

Kenosha County District Attorney Mike Graveley also declined to file any criminal charges against Sheskey related to the incident, saying at the time the officer was justified in his use of force and was acting in self-defense because Blake was armed with a knife.

In March, Blake filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against Sheskey, accusing the officer of using “excessive and unnecessary” force. At the time, B’Ivory LaMarr, one of Blake’s attorneys said:

“We believe that this lawsuit will help establish accountability. We believe that the year 2020 was the year to bring further awareness for social justice as it relates to African Americans being victims of police brutality. We believe that what we’ve seen so far in 2021, with the settlement for George Floyd, this is a year of accountability.”

After being cleared of any criminal wrongdoing, Sheskey returned to active duty in April. In addition to an internal investigation, the incident was investigated by an outside agency, an independent expert, and the Kenosha County District Attorney. No charges were filed in connection with the shooting.

In June, the Kenosha City Council voted unanimously to not pay Blake’s damages claim that he had filed with the city. 

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Kenosha City Council votes against compensating criminal Jacob Blake, wounded in justified police shooting

June 26th, 2021

KENOSHA, WI – In a vote held by the Kenosha City Council earlier in June, a unanimous vote has denied a claim brought forth by Jacob Blake’s representation to compensate him for his injuries sustained in the police shooting that left him paralyzed back in August of 2020.

However, this does not mean that the pursuit of monetary damages related to the August 2020 incident is over.

According to reports, the Kenosha City Council on June 21st voted 17-0 in favor of rejecting a claim that sought damages in connection with the officer-involved shooting of Blake back on August 23rd, 2020.

On March 11th, Chicago-based law firm Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard P.C. filed a claim with the city of Kenosha seeking “special damages” in the amount of $776,614.67 regarding the injuries Blake sustained during the shooting incident.

However, according to City Administrator John Morrissey, state law caps a claim at $50,000 when it is an individualized municipality named in a claim. Morrissey also pointed out that this action taken by Blake’s legal team is a mere formality that typically occurs before an actual lawsuit seeking damages is filed:

“This is just a claim. I don’t know whether they’ll file a state lawsuit. The maximum exposure for a municipality is $50,000.”

Earlier in 2021, Blake’s legal team filed a federal lawsuit that names Officer Rusten Sheskey, the officer who shot Blake in August of 2020, alleging that Officer Sheskey employed excessive force during the incident.

In January of 2021, Kenosha County District Attorney Michael Graveley declined to file criminal charges against Officer Sheskey in connection with the shooting, citing that the state wouldn’t be able to disprove that Officer Sheskey acted in self defense as Blake was armed with a knife during the shooting:

“I do not believe the state…would be able to prove that the privilege of self-defense is not available.”

Back when the federal lawsuit was filed against Officer Sheskey in March of 2021, City Administrator Morrissey noted that the city will “vigorously defend” against the civil suit brought forth against Officer Sheskey:

“The incident has been thoroughly examined by the Wisconsin Department of Justice, and former City of Madison Police Chief and use-of-force expert Noble Wray. Based on their findings and independent reports, the City of Kenosha will vigorously defend this case.”

On March 31st, days after the federal lawsuit was filed against Officer Sheskey, the officer had returned from administrative leave and was not facing any disciplinary action , according to Kenosha Police Chief Daniel Miskinis.

Chief Miskinis noted in a press release on April 13th that Officer Sheskey was cleared of wrongdoing at the department level and by prosecutors, which was why the decision to have him return to duty was reached:

“The Kenosha Police use of force incident on August 23, 2020 was investigated by an outside agency; has been reviewed by an independent expert as well as the Kenosha County District Attorney. Officer Sheskey was not charged with any wrongdoing.

He acted within the law and was consistent with training. This incident was also reviewed internally. Officer Sheskey was found to have been acting within policy and will not be subjected to discipline.”

The statement released by the Kenosha Police chief acknowledged that not everyone within the community would be pleased with said news, but noted that it was the only conclusion that could be reached based upon the facts of the incident:

“As of March 31, 2021, Officer Sheskey has returned from administrative leave. Although this incident has been reviewed at multiple levels, I know that some will not be pleased with the outcome; however, given the facts, the only lawful and appropriate decision was made.”

In response to the recent City Council vote against awarding damages via the filed claim with the city of Kenosha, Marcie Mangan, public relations director for Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard P.C., gave the following statement:

“The federal civil rights suit is being pursued, and the potential state claim, essentially the same cause of action with caps on damages, would be superfluous of it. We are considering options.”

The Kenosha City Council was said to have made zero comments and didn’t engage in any deliberation when voting to deny the claim filed by Blake’s legal team seeking damages. 

It’s unclear how this move by the City Council will reflect, if in any way at all, in future legal proceedings seeking monetary damages for Blake.

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Back in March, we at Law Enforcement Today reported on when the federal civil rights lawsuit was brought against Officer Sheskey, affording an in-depth look into the facts of the case and what evidence is going to be most heavily weighed if brought to trial. 

Here’s that previous report. 

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KENOSHA, WI – Jacob Blake, who was paralyzed after a police officer shot him in the back last August in Kenosha, has filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against the officer who shot him due to him allegedly using excessive force.

The case, filed on March 25th in the U. S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin, names only one defendant: Kenosha Police Officer Rusten Sheskey.

Blake sustained “catastrophic, permanent injuries” as a direct result of Officer Sheskey’s conduct, according to the lawsuit, which seeks unspecified damages as well as punitive damages, attorney’s fees, as well as other compensation.

Blake’s legal team includes high-profile civil rights attorney Ben Crump, who has worked with numerous families of alleged victims of police brutality and most notably assisted the Floyd family in reaching a $27 million civil settlement with the city Minneapolis.

When referencing the civil case pertaining to Blake, Crump stated:

“Nothing can undo this tragedy or take away the suffering endured by Jacob, his children, and the rest of the Blake family. But hopefully today is a significant step in achieving justice for them and holding Officer Sheskey answerable for his nearly deadly actions — actions that have deprived Jacob of his ability to walk.”

Back in January, it was determined by prosecutors that Officer Sheskey actions during the incident did not amount to a criminal act, and thus no charges were filed against the officer. Furthermore, the state had opted to not file any criminal charges against Blake either.

Currently, Officer Sheskey is still employed with the Kenosha Police Department, but he’s reportedly on administrative leave at this time.

Officer Sheskey fired seven shots at point blank range as Blake walked away from him and towards the driver’s side of a parked vehicle, according to the 19-page complaint filed with the courts.

According to the lawsuit, six of those rounds penetrated Blake’s body, with at least one severing his spinal cord and “instantly rendering his fully seated body limp upon impact.”

At the time of the incident, officers were deployed to the area for what was originally deemed as “family trouble” as Blake was leaving a party for his son’s eighth birthday following a verbal altercation between two women.

Officers had reportedly approached Blake as he was loading one of his sons into a Dodge SUV’s backseat.

Police at the time were attempting to place Blake under arrest for an outstanding warrant related to sexual assault. Months after the shooting incident, prosecutors opted to drop the charges related to the alleged sexual assault.

Just about all the facts relevant to the August incident have already been made public, and while misinformation was swirling initially after the officer-involved shooting, it was later found out that Blake was also in possession of a knife during the incident.

In fact, Blake even admitted in an interview in January that he was in possession of a knife during the incident. With that in mind, it’s without question that the topic of Blake being armed while encountering officers during the incident is going to be brought up during litigation. 

Also, while Blake’s lawsuit hones in on the aspect of the incident where Officer Sheskey discharged his firearm and shot him, a proper review of the evidence in the case is going to also require examining the numerous times Blake disobeyed lawful commands administered by police prior to the shooting.

Even if Blake’s lawsuit winds up being successful, it’s unclear what assets that the 31-year-old police officer would have access to that can be weighed into a potential favorable judgement for the plaintiff.

At the end of the day, if the lawsuit actually goes to trial (which 95% of lawsuits never do), it’s a genuine toss-up on whether Blake or Officer Sheskey is going to be named as the majority-culpability owner of the incident that resulted in Blake’s injuries. 

Editor note: In 2020, we saw a nationwide push to “defund the police”.  While we all stood here shaking our heads wondering if these people were serious… they cut billions of dollars in funding for police officers.  And as a result, crime has skyrocketed – all while the same politicians who said “you don’t need guns, the government will protect you” continued their attacks on both our police officers and our Second Amendment rights.

And that’s exactly why we’re launching this national crowdfunding campaign as part of our efforts to help “re-fund the police”.

For those looking for a quick link to get in the fight and support the cause, click here.

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