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Crime Federal Prosecutors Will Not Charge Cop Who Shot Jacob Blake

03:50  09 october  2021
03:50  09 october  2021 Source:   people.com

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Federal prosecutors will not file charges against Rusten Sheskey, the Kenosha, Wisconsin, police officer who shot Jacob Blake last summer.

a man wearing a helmet: Kenosha Police Department Rusten Sheskey © Provided by People Kenosha Police Department Rusten Sheskey

Blake, who is Black, was hospitalized on Aug. 23 after Sheskey, a white police officer at the Kenosha Police Department, shot him multiple times in the back while responding to what authorities said was a domestic disturbance. His children were in the car and witnessed the shooting.

Blake, 30, ended up spending six weeks in the hospital and is left paralyzed from the waist down.

Six months after the Kenosha Police Department said that Sheskey would not be disciplined, federal prosecutors announced Friday that he will not be facing charges, either.

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a person sitting on a bed: Ben Crump/Twitter Jacob Blake © Provided by People Ben Crump/Twitter Jacob Blake

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"After a careful and thorough review, a team of experienced federal prosecutors determined that insufficient evidence exists to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the officer willfully violated the federal criminal civil rights statutes," said a statement from the U.S. Department of Justice on Friday.

a man wearing a helmet: Rusten Sheskey © Kenosha Police Department Rusten Sheskey

"Accordingly, the review of this incident has been closed without a federal prosecution," the statement added.

Justin Blake, Jacob's uncle, called the DOJ's decision "unconscionable," the Associated Press reported.

Feds won't seek charges against cop in Jacob Blake shooting

  Feds won't seek charges against cop in Jacob Blake shooting MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Federal prosecutors announced Friday that they won’t file 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 Rusten Sheskey shot Blake, who is Black, during a domestic disturbance in Kenosha in August 2020. The shooting left Blake paralyzed from the waist down and sparked several nights of protests, some of which turned violent. An Illinois man shot three people, killing two of them, during one of the demonstrations.

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"If we had a heart to be broken, it would be," he said, per the outlet, "but because we've been through all we've been, we're not."

Kenosha County District Attorney Michael Graveley said back in January that Sheskey would not face any criminal charges in the shooting. Graveley said that the decision was made in part due to cell phone footage that showed Blake had a knife.

"Officer Sheskey felt he was about to be stabbed," he said, adding that Sheskey would be able to successfully argue self-defense if he were brought in front of a jury.

RELATED: Jacob Blake Files Excessive Force Lawsuit Against Officer Who Shot Him in Back 6 Times

The shooting was captured on cellphone footage that went viral and sparked numerous protests over police brutality and racial injustice. During a demonstration in Kenosha on Aug. 25, three people were shot and two were killed by then 17-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse, who had driven up from Illinois to protect businesses from potential looters. He was charged with homicide and attempted homicide.

Justice Department won't charge officer who shot Jacob Blake

  Justice Department won't charge officer who shot Jacob Blake The department said there is insufficient evidence to prove that the officer who shot Blake "willfully used excessive force," which is the required standard for pressing charges. © Handout Jacob Blake The shooting occurred after police received a call about a domestic disturbance on August 23, 2020. Graphic bystander video of the encounter showed Blake walking away from police, before Kenosha police officer Rusten Sheskey grabbed his shirt as he opened the driver's side door of a parked SUV. Sheskey then shot Blake multiple times in the back. Blake, who was 29 at the time, survived the shooting.

Rittenhouse has said he shot the men in self-defense and is scheduled to go to trial in November.

Blake filed a federal civil rights complaint against Sheskey in March.

According to the federal complaint, six of the seven shots struck Blake, with at least one severing his spinal cord. The seventh shot struck the side door of the car that held Blake's children, the filing said.

To help combat systemic racism, consider learning from or donating to these organizations:

  • Campaign Zero works to end police brutality in America through research-proven strategies.
  • ColorofChange.org works to make the government more responsive to racial disparities.

National Cares Mentoring Movement provides social and academic support to help Black youth succeed in college and beyond.

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