The feds won’t file charges against a police officer in the Jacob Blake shooting

MADISON, Wisconsin (Associated Press) – Federal prosecutors announced Friday that they will not press charges against a white police officer who shot Jacob Blake in Wisconsin last year – a shooting that sparked protests that led to the deaths of two men.

Officer Rustin Chesky shot Blake, who is black, during a domestic disturbance in Kenosha in August 2020. The shooting left Blake paralyzed from the waist down. It sparked several nights of protests, some of which turned violent. man from Illinois They shot three people, Two of them were killed during one of the demonstrations.

Prosecutors decided not to press charges against Chesky earlier this year after a video clip showed that Blake, who was wanted on a criminal warrant, was armed with a knife.

The US Department of Justice launched its own investigation days after the shooting. The agency announced Friday that a team of prosecutors from its Civil Rights Division and the US Attorney’s Office in Milwaukee reviewed police reports, witness statements, dispatch logs and videos of the incident, and determined there was not enough evidence to prove Chesky used excessive force. or violated Blake’s federal rights.

“Accordingly, the review of this incident has been closed without a federal trial,” the Justice Department said in a news release.

Blake’s uncle, Justin Blake, called the decision “unreasonable” and said it “certainly steps on every civil right we can imagine that this country owes to every descendant of African American.”

“If we had a heart that would break,” he said, “it would be.” “But because we’ve been through everything we’ve been through, we’re not.”

The Department of Justice’s findings are consistent with those of Kenosha County District Attorney Michael Gravelli design in january That Sheskey could successfully argue that he fired in self-defense.

Chesky and other officers met Blake after they responded to a call from a woman who reported that her boyfriend was not supposed to be at her house. When they got to the scene, the woman told them that Blake was trying with her kids and her SUV.

Blake fought the officers as they tried to arrest him. Shisuke and another officer tried to shock him with stun guns to no avail. Blake tried to get into the SUV with his young children in the back seat, which prompted Chesky to grab his shirt. Chesky told investigators that he was afraid that Blake would lead the children with the children or use them as hostages.

Gravelli said the video shows Blake walking toward Chesky with a knife and advancing toward the officer with the knife, prompting Chesky to shoot.

The shooting came three months after the death of George Floyd while white Minneapolis police officers handcuffed him. Black Lives Matter supporters swept downtown Kenosha for several nights, and some protesters set buildings and cars on fire. Governor Tony Evers had to call in the National Guard.

Kyle Rittenhouse, of Antioch, Illinois, responded to a local militia’s call to protect Kenosha’s business from looters and vandals during the third night of protests. He ended up shooting Joseph Rosenbaum, Anthony Hooper, and Gage Grosskreutz, killing Rosenbaum and Hooper and wounding Grosskreutz in the arm. The four men involved were white.

Prosecutors charged Rittenhouse with several charges, including murder. He said he shot in self-defence After the three men attacked him. He is scheduled to appear in court next month.

Conservatives frustrated by the Black Lives Matter protests rallied around Rittenhouse. They raised $2 million to cover bail. He was portrayed by Black Lives Matter supporters as a happy-shooter vigilante, and he made matters worse in Kenosha by bringing a handgun to the protests.

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