The Justice Department will not bring federal civil rights charges against the officer who shot Jacob Blake seven times in 2020
In January, the Kenosha County prosecutor decided not to bring charges against Mr. Shesky.
The shooting was traced to a viral video showing the last moments of the encounter.
What does the video show?
The video shows Mr Blake getting into a scuffle with police in the back of the car, then turning to the front and officers chasing him, guns being drawn. He can be heard repeatedly ordering “drop the knife”, but it is unclear in the video whether Mr. Blake is holding the blade.
It then shows Mr Blake opening the driver’s side door and getting into the car, as an officer grabs his tank top and then fires several shots toward his back.
Prosecutors showed an enhanced video clip at a press briefing on 5 January in which a black object can be seen in Mr Blake’s hand in a few frames. He said the shape matched a razorblade type knife found on the floor of the car. He also said that Mr Blake admitted that he had the knife and that he changed it from his left hand to his right hand so that he could open the door.
The prosecutor said the video does not show a key moment before the shooting. That’s when officers—and a witness who is familiar with Mr Blake—said he moved his body momentarily and threatened Mr Shesky, who reached under his left hand, to cut the blade with his right hand. For, according to the prosecutor.
Prosecutors said an examination of Mr Blake’s medical records by a coroner found that three bullets hit his left side and four hit his back.
What happened in the moments before the video was recorded?
Officers were called to the scene by a woman, who said the father of her children had taken the keys to her rental car, was “talking all kinds of things” and should not have been on the premises.
Responding officers looked at a warrant and found that Mr Blake was charged with two counts of criminal trespass, sexual assault of the same woman, and disorderly conduct. Under department policy, officers had no choice but to arrest Mr. Blake because of a felony warrant, Kenosha County District Attorney Michael Graveley said.
When they first arrived, officers spoke briefly with Mr Blake, who was evasive and trying to leave, the prosecutor said. Officers scuffled with Mr Blake, who split up, he said, then fired two sets of stun-gun probes at him, which he pulled out, and eventually tried to startle him outright.
Noble Ray, the first black chief of the Madison, Wis., police department and expert on police use of force incidents, who was brought in as an adviser to the prosecutor, said Mr Shesky used a reasonable escalation of force in the handling. An uncooperative arrest subject. And when the officer was threatened with getting into a car whose ownership was in dispute and with three children who could be in danger, he was justified in firing bullets to stop the threat, Mr. he said.
Mr Ray also said law enforcement needs to look for other ways to stop someone when repeated wonders don’t work. “The gun is a very destructive tool. We have to come up with better tools, better strategies and better ways to be able to address incidents when our goal is to stop someone” without risking killing them, he said. said.
Mr Blake’s family said he was innocent and demanded the police officer be charged.
“He tried to kill my son. He didn’t try to bring my son down. He tried to kill my son and could have killed my grandchildren,” said Mr. Blake’s father, Jacob Blake Sr.. Mr. Blake’s three children were in the car when they were shot.
Who is Jacob Blake?
Mr. Blake, 29, lives in Kenosha. According to the Chicago Tribune, Mr. Blake Evanston, grew up in Ill., and is the grandson of Evanston, an Evanston civil-rights activist and preacher.
Who is the officer who shot Jacob Blake?
The Wisconsin Justice Department, the agency investigating the shooting, said Mr Shesky served in the force for seven years. He was put on administrative leave along with other officers present during the investigation. According to Kenosha police, Mr Shesky returned to work in March.
What is the status of Jacob Blake?
Mr Blake is paralyzed from the waist down and his family members have said he is still in pain from the shooting.
What happened to the allegations against Mr. Blake?
Prosecutors said they dropped the sex-abuse and trespass charges partly because the woman who filed them would not cooperate. Mr Blake pleaded guilty to two counts of disorderly conduct and was sentenced to two years’ probation.
The Biden administration has prioritized law-enforcement practices, but it is challenging to bring federal civil rights charges against police officers, no matter which political party is in power. When evaluating such cases, federal prosecutors must establish not only that an officer used excessive force but also that the officer knowingly violated one’s constitutional rights.
“This is the highest standard of intent imposed by law,” the Justice Department said in a statement announcing the closure of the case. “Neither accident, mistake, fear, negligence, nor bad judgment is sufficient to establish a deliberate federal criminal civil rights violation.”
A few dozen protesters marched through 100,000 city streets on Tuesday night denouncing Mr Blake’s lack of support and accusations, but things were mostly calm.
Mr Blake’s family members said they planned to visit Washington, DC in the coming weeks to meet with political leaders and are in talks with groups about holding a march there.
What was the result of shooting in Kenosha?
The unrest following the release of the viral video resulted in millions of dollars in property damage to Kenosha businesses. Several businesses rode in advance of the prosecutor announcing his decision on Tuesday.
How involved is Kyle Rittenhouse in Kenosha?
Kyle Rittenhouse, now 18 from Illinois, pleaded not guilty to an incident two days after Mr Blake was shot, in which Mr Rittenhouse killed two protesters and carried an AR-15-style weapon. shot the third.
His lawyers have said Mr Rittenhouse, who has said he came to Kenosha to protect businesses, was acting in self-defense at the shooting. He has been charged with first-degree willful manslaughter, first-degree negligent manslaughter and first-degree willful attempt to negligent manslaughter.
improvement and amplification
Kenosha County was once heavily Democratic leaning. The county voted to elect Donald Trump president by a narrow margin in 2016. An earlier version of this article incorrectly identified the geographic area as Kenosha City. (corrected August 28)
write to Joe Barrett at [email protected]