Summary List PlacementThere will be no criminal charges filed against the officer who shot Jacob Blake multiple times in the back over the summer, leaving him paralyzed and setting off days of civil unrest in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
In a report made public on Tuesday, Kenosha County District Attorney Mike Graveley said an investigation of the incident led him to conclude that there were “no viable criminal charges” against the officers involved.
A separate assessment released on Tuesday done by Noble Wray, the former police chief of Madison, Wisconsin, agreed with Graveley’s conclusion regarding the use of force. Wray was asked to look at the matter by Wisconsin’s Attorney General Josh Kaul.
“[I]t is my opinion, to a reasonable degree of professional certainty in my field of expertise, that the use of force by [Police Officer] Rusten Sheskey… was justified,” he wrote.
The August 2020 shooting became a national story and led to protests and riots in Kenosha. According to Wray’s assessment police had responded to a call of a domestic disturbance involving Blake, who had an outstanding felony warrant; arriving at the scene, police say they found him attempting to leave with his children, using his estranged partner’s SUV.
What happened next is in dispute and at the heart of the case. After deploying less-lethal weapons, police claim that a non-compliant Blake, a knife in hand, attempted to get in the driver’s seat of the vehicle. He was then shot seven times after police claim he turned in such a way that suggested he would attack them.
A disturbing video of the incident was captured.
Tweet Embed: //twitter.com/mims/statuses/1297721479711334401?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw Wow. This Black man was shot several times in the back by @KenoshaPolice today. He was getting into his car after apparently breaking up a fight between two women. He’s in critical condition now. We demand JUSTICE! #BlackLivesMatter pic.twitter.com/I1reDEp4nwBlake was left paralyzed.
Graveley, in his report, said the lack of criminal charges against police “do not change the fact that the events of August 23, 2020, were a tragedy.”
In a statement, Ben Crump, an attorney for Blake’s family, lamented the failure to charge any officers invovled in the shooting.
“We are immensely disappointed in Kenosha District Attorney Michael Gravely’s decision not to charge the officers involved in this horrific shooting,” Crump said. “We feel this decision failed not only Jacob and his family, but the community that protested and demanded justice.”
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