BREAKING: White cop who shot Jacob Blake seven times will NOT face charges: Kenosha braces for unrest as DA declines to prosecute officer who left black man paralyzed
- On Tuesday Kenosha County District Attorney Michael Graveley said his office will not file charges against white police officer Rusten Sheskey
- Sheskey was the officer who shot black man Jacob Blake seven times in the back, leaving him paralyzed, on August 23
- Sheskey had responded to a call about a domestic incident and opened fire as Blake was getting into his SUV, where his three young children watched on
- Graveley said a separate federal civil rights probe into the shooting is ongoing
- Wisconsin mobilized the National Guard and the Kenosha County Sheriff has declared a state of emergency ahead of a decision, bracing for protests
No charges will be filed against white police officer Rusten Sheskey, who shot black man Jacob Blake seven times in the back and left him paralyzed, Kenosha County prosecutors announced Tuesday.
‘No Kenosha law enforcement officer in this case will be charged with any criminal offense,’ Kenosha County District Attorney Michael Graveley announced.
He said no charges would be filed against the other two officers involved in the incident – Officers Vincent Arenas and Brittany Meronek – or Blake. He noted a separate federal civil rights investigation into the shooting is ongoing.
On August 23 Sheskey, a seven-year veteran of the Kenosha Police Department, responded to a domestic incident in Kenosha, Wisconsin and shot Blake multiple times in the back as he tried to get into his SUV as his three young children watched on.
He has been left paralyzed and was discharged from the hospital in October.
The shooting triggered massive, outraged protests in the city decrying police brutality and demanding accountability.
Wisconsin had already started to brace for renewed protests ahead of the decision with Gov. Tony Evers mobilizing 500 National Guard troops to help Kenosha authorities, the county sheriff declaring a state of emergency, and Mayor John Antaramian was given power to enact a curfew.
No charges will be filed against white police officer Rusten Sheskey, who shot black man Jacob Blake seven times in the back and left him paralyzed, Kenosha County prosecutors announced Tuesday. Sheskey pictured left and right
Jacob Blake was discharged from hospital in October 2020 where he had been recovering for more than a month after being shot seven times in the back by police during a domestic disturbance call
Kenosha County District Attorney Michael Graveley announced Tuesday that no charges would be filed against Sheskey or the other officers involved in the incident
On Tuesday before Graveley shared the announcement he pleaded for peace.
‘Rather than burning things down, can moments of tragedy like this be an opportunity to build things?’ Graveley said.
In sharing the highly-anticipated news, Graveley said how personally difficult the decision was.
‘I feel in many ways completely inadequate for this moment. I have never in my life had a moment where I’ve had to contend with explicit or implicit bias based on my race. I have never had a moment in my life where I’ve had to fear for my safety either with police officers or people in authority,’ he said.
He noted that he never had to face police officers ‘knowing I could face armed persons who might try to end my life.’
Sheskey and the other officers who were at the scene in the shooting have been placed on administrative leave.
The shooting was captured on video and circulated online, fueling massive protests that caused $50 million in damage to public and private property.
The Kenosha City Council held a meeting on Monday and agreed to grant Kenosha Mayor John Antaramian emergency powers as officials prepare for expected unrest following the decision of whether to charge the cops involved in the shooting in August.
In anticipation of the announcement many businesses were boarded up and some streets in Kenosha were closed.
Jacob Blake (pictured) has been left paralyzed from the waist down following the shooting on August 23
Activists show support for Jacob Blake Jr. during a vigil near the Kenosha County Courthouse on January 4, in Kenosha, Wisconsin
Jacob Blake Jr., 29, was shot seven times in the back by a Kenosha police officer on August 23 last year and and was left paralyzed from his injuries. A decision on whether to charge the officer is expected to announced shortly
On Monday Blake’s father, Jacob Blake Sr, led a rally throughout Kenosha where he called for charges against Sheskey, urging the public to ‘stand up and make some noise.’
‘Let’s be heard around the world. We’re not going to stop in Kenosha. We’re headed to DC. We’re headed to Nancy Pelosi’s office. We’re headed to whoever is going to be in charge of the Senate. Because this has got to be federally heard, for not just my son, but for everybody who has suffered police brutality – everyone,’ he said.