The Kenosha, Wisconsin, police officer who shot Jacob Blake last August will not face criminal charges; neither will the other officers involved.
In what’s become an all-too-familiar story surrounding America’s systemic disregard for Black lives, Kenosha District Attorney Michael Graveley said the evidence didn’t support charging officers.
“It is my decision that no Kenosha law enforcement officer, in this case, will be charged with any criminal offense based on the facts and the laws,” Graveley said.
Blake, an unarmed African American, was shot seven times in the back by Police Officer Rusten Sheskey as his children sat in the backseat of his car and watched in horror.
Police said they were responding to a domestic disturbance report – one which Blake reportedly had attempted to quell.
As the has become commonplace in such instances when prosecutors decline to pursue charges, Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers had stated his intention to deploy 500 National Guard troops in preparation for protests and civil unrest.
Wisconsin’s African-American community reportedly remains outraged.
“We are immensely disappointed in Kenosha District Attorney Michael Gravely’s decision not to charge the officers involved in this horrific shooting,” nationally renowned civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump, and his co-counsels Patrick A. Salvi II and B’Ivory LaMarr, declared in a statement Tuesday.
“We feel this decision failed not only Jacob and his family but the community that protested and demanded justice,” the statement continued.
Sheskey’s actions sparked outrage and advocacy throughout the country, but the District Attorney’s decision not to charge the officer who shot Jacob in the back multiple times, leaving him paralyzed, further destroys trust in America’s justice system, Crump and his team proclaimed.
“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 attorneys continued.
“This is not the news we were hoping for but our work is not done and hope is not lost. It is now our duty to broaden the fight for justice on behalf of Jacob and the countless other Black men and women who are victims of racial injustice and police brutality in this country.”
“We will continue to press forward with a civil lawsuit and fight for systemic change in policing and transparency at all levels. We urge Americans to continue to raise their voices and demand change in peaceful and positive ways during this emotional time,” the attorneys said.