The officers involved in the shooting of Jacob Blake—who was shot seven times in the back, leaving him paralyzed from the waist down—will not face any charges.
According to NBC News, Kenosha County District Attorney Michael Graveley announced the decision during a press conference on Tuesday. “It is my decision now that no Kenosha law enforcement officer will be charged with any criminal offense based on the facts and laws,” Graveley said Tuesday. He added that Blake will not face any charges and neither will the other two officers who were on the scene.
Graveley said that the officers involved would have a strong argument for self defense. I’m assuming the argument was “he was Black, and I was scared.”
“If you don’t believe you can prove a case beyond a reasonable doubt, you have an ethical obligation not to issue charges,” Gravely said.
Blake, a Black man, was shot seven times in the back by Kenosha Police Officer Rusten Sheskey. Sheskey was responding a domestic disturbance and shot Blake as he was walking toward his SUV.
I’m not even mad. I’m just so fucking tired. We give cops the power to take life, but the laws of this country make them far less accountable for their actions than anybody else. Shouldn’t it be the reverse?
Ben Crump, the attorney for Blake’s family, released a statement expressing disappointment with the decision, NBC News reports. “We are immensely disappointed in Kenosha District Attorney Michael Gravely’s [sic] decision not to charge the officers involved in this horrific shooting,” Crump’s statement read.
“We feel this decision failed not only Jacob and his family, but the community that protested and demanded justice.”
An emergency declaration previously approved by the Kenosha City Council will now go into effect immediately and last for eight days, according to NBC News. Kenosha Mayor John Antaramian and Police Chief Daniel Miskini released a statement outlining what measures will be taken under the declaration, including road closures, a curfew, and a designated area for demonstrators.
Protests erupted shortly after the shooting, resulting in two men being fatally shot and another being seriously injured. Kyle Rittenhouse, 17, has been charged in those shootings and is facing two felony homicide charges as well as a felony attempted homicide. The council cited those initial protests as the reason for the emergency declaration.
“Our responsibility to public safety is paramount, and we are preparing for a number of possible public demonstrations,” the statement read.
In addition to these emergency measures, Wisconsin’s Gov. Tony Evers announced that he would mobilize 500 National Guard members. “Our members of the National Guard will be on hand to support local first responders, ensure Kenoshans are able to assemble safely, and to protect critical infrastructure as necessary,” Evers said in a statement.
If public safety was truly paramount, cops like Sheskey would actually face consequences for their actions. Instead, here we are. Another Black body brutalized with no one held responsible.
New year, same old shit.