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No charges against Wisconsin officer who shot and paralyzed Jacob Blake

Rusten Sheskey shot Blake, a Black man. He won’t be charged

In this September 2019 file photo taken in Evanston, Ill., and provided by Adria-Joi Watkins, Watkins, left, poses in a selfie with her second cousin Jacob Blake.
In this September 2019 file photo taken in Evanston, Ill., and provided by Adria-Joi Watkins, Watkins, left, poses in a selfie with her second cousin Jacob Blake.
Adria-Joi Watkins via Associated Press

No officers will be charged in the shooting of Jacob Blake, a Black man who was shot seven times and paralyzed over the summer, an event that sparked nationwide protests, The Associated Press reports.

What’s going on?

The Kenosha County district attorney announced Tuesday that Rusten Sheskey, a seven-year veteran with the Kenosha Police Department, shot Blake seven times in the back on Aug. 23, 2020, as he was walking to his car, according to BuzzFeed News.

  • Blake survived the shooting. However, he was left paralyzed from the waist down.

Kenosha County District Attorney Michael Graveley announced no one would be charged in the case.

  • “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 would not be charged with offenses, either.

  • “This was a tragedy first and foremost for Jacob Blake, who still suffers from grievous injuries,” he said.

Reaction:

Blake’s attorney Ben Crump issued a statement on Twitter, expressing his disappointment.

“Kenosha DA Michael Gravely will NOT charge the officers involved in the August shooting of Jacob Blake. We are immensely disappointed and feel this decision failed not only Jacob and his family but the community that protested and demanded justice.

“This isn’t the news we hoped for, but our work is not done and hope is not lost. We must broaden the fight for justice on behalf of Jacob Blake and the countless other Black victims of racial injustice and police brutality. #JusticeForJacobBlake

“We will continue to press forward with our own investigation 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.”

Bigger picture:

The shooting led to massive protests over the summer. More than 250 people were arrested in the days after, according to The AP.

  • The shooting happened three months after George Floyd died when an officer knelt on his neck in Minneapolis, the AP reports.

Correction: This article previously said Jacob Blake unarmed. His family said he was unarmed when he was shot, but video footage shows he held a knife.