The August 2020 shooting sparked weeks of violent unrest in the small town south of Milwaukee
The Justice Department said it informed Mr Blake’s family about the decision, which came after more than a year of investigation that included police reports, law-enforcement and witness accounts, dispatch logs, physical evidence and photos and videos. investigation was involved.
Ben Crump, a civil rights attorney representing the family, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Mr Blake’s August 23, 2020 shooting comes three months after the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police, setting off nationwide protests and bipartisan calls for change. Mr Blake’s shooting sparked protests, looting and violence in Kenosha. A 17-year-old was charged with shooting three people, two of whom died.
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. In 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. “Neither accident, mistake, fear, negligence, nor bad judgment is sufficient to establish a deliberate federal criminal civil rights violation.”
In January, Kenosha County prosecutors said they would not bring charges against the officer. According to Kenosha police, Mr Shesky returned to work in March. The Justice Department launched its own separate investigation in the days following the shooting, which surfaced in a viral video.
A lawyer for Mr Shesky could not immediately be reached for comment.
It shows Mr Blake, wanted on a felony arrest warrant, clashing with police and then attempting to get into his car as Mr Shesky pulled off his shirt. As Mr. Blake arrived in the car to collect something, Mr. Shesky can be seen firing at him. Mr Blake was hit with seven bullets, four in the back and three in the side.
Officials have said Mr Blake actively resisted arrest and was armed with a knife he allegedly used on an officer before shooting.
—Joe Barrett contributed to this article.
Sadie Gurman [email protected] . Feather