The Department of Justice stated Friday that it will not seek civil rights charges against the Wisconsin police officer who shot and severely paralyzed Jacob Blake last year.
On Aug. 23, 2020, Kenosha Police Officer Rusten Sheskey, who is white, fired seven times at Blake, who is black, police said. Sheskey was responding to a report of a domestic disturbance.
Federal prosecutors concluded that the evidence obtained was inadequate to establish that Sheskey “willfully employed excessive force,” the DOJ stated in a statement.
The incident was filmed on a witness’ cellphone and spurred days of large-scale protests in Kenosha. Investigators analyzed police reports, law enforcement accounts, witness statements, witness affidavits, images, and videos.
“Following a comprehensive assessment, a team of seasoned federal prosecutors determined that there is insufficient evidence to establish beyond a reasonable doubt that the KPD officer deliberately violated federal criminal civil rights statutes,” the DOJ stated.
The DOJ stated that it had communicated its decision to representatives of Blake’s family.
The shooting occurred when cops attempted to apprehend Blake, who was wanted on an outstanding warrant. Sheskey fired his gun seven times toward Blake’s back as he walked to the front of his vehicle toward the driver’s side door.
Six bullets injured Blake, who is now paralyzed from the waist down.
Authorities discovered an unfolded knife on the driver’s side floorboard of Blake’s vehicle.
Kenosha County District Attorney Mike Graveley also declined to press charges against Sheskey in connection with the incident last year, stating at the time that the officer was justified in using force and acting in self-defense due to Blake’s knife-wielding.
Sheskey was also not reprimanded by the Kenosha Police Department for his use of force, which stated that he was acting “in accordance with procedure.”
Who is Jacob Blake (short intro)?
|Full Name||Jacob Blake|
|Age||30 years old (as of 2021)|
|Race / Ethnicity||African American|
|Place of Birth||Switzerland|
|Father (Dad)||Jacob Blake Sr|