A Kenosha police officer will not face charges in the August shooting of Jacob Blake, said the Kenosha County District Attorney on Tuesday.
District Attorney Michael Graveley on Tuesday made the announcement at a press conference, saying he would not recommend charges against Kenosha Police Officer Rusten Sheskey.
After was Blake was shot, the incident drew protests, riots, arson attacks, and looting in Kenosha.
The Wisconsin Department of Justice stated that Sheskey and several other Kenosha police officers were attempting to arrest Blake following a domestic incident call on Aug. 23, 2020. Blake walked away from the officers and tried to get into an SUV when he was shot.
Officials alleged Blake admitted there was a weapon in his vehicle. Blake had earlier been Tased several times by Sheskey and other officers.
Graveley on Tuesday said he “would have to disprove the clear expression of these officers that they had to fire a weapon to defend themselves.”
He added: “I do not believe the state … would be able to prove that the privilege of self-defense is not available.”
Graveley said that none of the other officers involved in the incident will be charged. Blake also won’t be charged, he said.
“We are immensely disappointed in Kenosha District Attorney Michael Graveley’s decision not to charge the officers involved in this horrific shooting,” said Blake’s attorneys in a statement in response to the announcement, according to local outlet TMJ4. “We feel this decision failed not only Jacob and his family, but the community that protested and demanded justice.”
The city braced for renewed protests ahead of the announcement, with concrete barricades and metal fencing surrounding the Kenosha County Courthouse and plywood protecting many businesses. The Common Council on Monday night unanimously approved an emergency resolution giving the mayor the power to impose curfews, among other things, and Gov. Tony Evers activated 500 National Guard troops to assist.
Evers said that local authorities had requested the deployment.
More than 250 people were arrested in the days that followed, including 17-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse, a self-styled medic with an assault rifle who is charged in the fatal shootings of two men and the wounding of a third.
Rittenhouse, who was among armed people who took to Kenosha streets during the violence and said he was there to help protect businesses, faces multiple charges including intentional homicide. Rittenhouse pleaded not guilty on Tuesday.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.