Black News and Black Views with a Whole Lotta Attitude
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Black News and Black Views with a Whole Lotta Attitude

Kenosha Prosecutors File More Than 90 Criminal Charges In Last Year's Protests

The ensuing chaos eclipsed the police shooting of a Black man, Jacob Blake

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In this Aug. 24, 2020, file photo, protesters walk past police with their arms up, in Kenosha, Wis., as a building burns in the background. The federal government deliberately targeted Black Lives Matter protesters via heavy-handed criminal prosecutions in an attempt to disrupt and discourage the global movement that swept the nation last summer in the wake of the police killing of George Floyd, according to a new report released Wednesday, Aug. 18, 2021, by The Movement for Black Lives.
In this Aug. 24, 2020, file photo, protesters walk past police with their arms up, in Kenosha, Wis., as a building burns in the background. The federal government deliberately targeted Black Lives Matter protesters via heavy-handed criminal prosecutions in an attempt to disrupt and discourage the global movement that swept the nation last summer in the wake of the police killing of George Floyd, according to a new report released Wednesday, Aug. 18, 2021, by The Movement for Black Lives.
Photo: David Goldman (AP)

More than a year after the looting and destruction that took place during the August 24, 2020 demonstrations in Kenosha, Wisconsin, police and prosecutors continue to seek out the protesters responsible. As of last week, Kenosha County District Attorney Michael Graveley’s office has filed more than 90 criminal charges and is making plans for a new website to generate help from the public using photos of alleged suspects and details of crimes.

The protests went on for several nights in response to white Kenosha officer Rusten Sheskey shooting Jacob Blake, who is Black, seven times in the back, in front of his children, leaving him paralyzed from the waist down. Graveley decided not to criminally charge Sheskey in October.

During one of the nights of protests, Kyle Rittenhouse shot at protesters, killing two and injuring another. He was acquitted of multiple charges by a mostly white jury in November.

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According to Kenosha News, Graveley has filed 94 criminal cases, six of which involve juveniles and another 18 are for misdemeanors. 70 of the cases involve felony crimes, including looting, burglary, “assaultive” behavior, destruction of an ATM and threatening police or National Guard troops.

“The rough estimate is we’re about halfway done,” Graveley said, according to Kenosha News.

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More than 60 people have been charged in connection to the crimes, according to the Associated Press. Still, while some suspects have been identified by police, there are still many that have yet to be found.

“There’s merchants and members of the public who deserve to have outcomes that give that credit. There’s a lot of work still to be done,” he said.

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There are warrants issued for 11 cases and another 29 have hearing dates scheduled for next year.

From Kenosha News:

To get this to the finish line, Graveley said a new website will be launched in January that will include all the pending cases, with photographs, more than 100, of those who have yet to be identified. Visitors to the site will be able to view all the photographs, and if they have information, a direct link will take them to the Kenosha Police Department Detective Bureau.

Graveley said the new website will remain open for “a couple months” to see what progress can be made on the unsolved cases. The website address will be released to the public when it’s ready to be launched, he said.

“We’ll see if it gets us anywhere, and we’ll try to share with some other locations and jurisdictions to see if that happens, too,” he said. “The Kenosha Police Department put some of this on their Facebook many months ago, but it’s time to get a fresh look at all these pictures, I think.”

Graveley said he and his office are determined to continue working these cases to hold those accountable for the destruction.

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“It’s quite a challenge because of the large amount of additional cases,” Graveley said, according to Kenosha News. “But what’s crucially important is that we maximize our efforts to bring individuals to justice who were such trouble in the community during those days.”