No Charges against Wisconsin Officer Who Shot Jacob Blake, Prosecutor Says

Kenosha County District Attorney Michael Graveley leads a news conference to announce whether any of the Kenosha police officers involved in the shooting of Jacob Blake will face criminal charges, Kenosha, Wis., January 5, 2021. (Daniel Acker/Reuters)

A Wisconsin prosecutor said Tuesday that he will not file criminal charges against the Kenosha police officer who shot Jacob Blake, a black man, several times from behind at close range over the summer.

Officer Rusten Sheskey shot Blake while responding to a domestic call on August 23. The shooting, which left Blake paralyzed and sparked protests and riots in Kenosha, was captured on bystander video. 

The video appears to show an officer shooting Blake several times as he tried to enter his van, where his three children waited.

Police had been responding to a call last month that Blake, who had a warrant out for his arrest, had taken a woman’s keys and refused to return them. Blake allegedly broke into the same woman’s home in May and sexually assaulted her before stealing her truck.

When the police arrived, Blake admitted to having a knife in his possession, according to Wisconsin’s Department of Justice. Police instructed Blake to “drop the knife” as he is seen on video holding something in his hand, though it is unclear what. Division of Criminal Investigation agents later recovered a knife from the driver’s side floorboard in Blake’s van.

Kenosha County District Attorney Michael Graveley said Tuesday that he told Blake about his decision not to file charges before holding a news conference to make the announcement, according to the Associated Press.

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