Officer Rusten Sheskey, the cop who shot Jacob Blake seven times in front of his children, will not face charges.
Kenosha County District Attorney Michael Graveley announced Tuesday: “No Kenosha law enforcement officer in this case will be charged with any criminal offense.”
Graveley also said no charges would be filed against Officers Brittany Meronek and Vincent Arenas, the two other cops involved in the shooting.
It was on August 23 last year when Sheskey responded to a domestic incident in Kenosha, Wisconsin, and shot Blake seven times in front of his three young children.
The incident left the father paralyzed and he was discharged from the hospital two months later.
Atty Graveley said no charges were filed as prosecutors couldn’t disprove the police officer’s claim of self-defense.
Graveley also said it is ‘incontrovertible’ that Blake had a knife.
The incident sparked huge protests in Kenosha, with demonstrators demanding accountability and decrying police brutality.
The state had started to brace for more protests ahead of the decision. Mayor John Antaramian was given authority to enact a curfew, Gov. Tony Evers mobilized 500 National Guard troops, and the county sheriff declared a state of emergency.
“Rather than burning things down, can moments of tragedy like this be an opportunity to build things?” Graveley said on Tuesday before the announcement.
Jacob Blake’s attorneys, B’Ivory LaMarr, Ben Crump, and Patrick A. Salvi II released a statement following the announcement.
“We are immensely disappointed in Kenosha District Attorney Michael Graveley’s decision not to charge the officers involved in this horrific shooting. We feel this decision failed not only Jacob and his family, but the community that protested and demanded justice,” the statement said, according to Daily Mail.
“This sends the wrong message to police officers throughout the country. It says it is OK for police to abuse their power and recklessly shoot their weapon, destroying the life of someone who was trying to protect his children,” the statement added.
Graveley described how 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 expressed.
He also said that he never had to face cops “knowing I could face armed persons who might try to end my life.”
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