The white police officer who shot Wisconsin resident Jacob Blake in the back seven times on August 23 will not face charges.
On Tuesday, Kenosha County District Attorney Michael Graveley announced that Rusten Sheskey, the cop who was seen in a social media video pulling Blake’s T-shirt from behind before firing, will not be charged with any crimes.
Additionally, neither the other officers involved nor Blake himself will be prosecuted.
While telling reporters that Sheskey and the other officers would have had a strong case for self-defense, he added, “If you don’t believe you can prove a case beyond a reasonable doubt, you have an ethical obligation not to issue charges.”
On August 23, authorities arrived at the 2800 block of 40th Street to respond to a “domestic incident” at around 5:11 p.m. that evening.
In a statement from Blake’s lawyer Ben Crump, Blake was “trying to deescalate a domestic incident” and walked away from the cops in order to “check on his children.”
Crump adds that “Blake’s three sons were only a few feet away” when their father was shot multiple times.
Though Blake survived, the shooting left him paralyzed from the waist down.
Days later, state prosecutors claimed Blake was near a knife during the incident and that a blade was found in the footwell of the vehicle.
However, as reported by NBC News, Raysean White — a bystander who recorded the shooting — said he did not see a knife in Blake’s hands.
Per CNN in September, Sheskey told investigators that he used deadly force against Blake because he feared Blake was trying to kidnap a child in the backseat of the vehicle.
“He’s got my kid. He’s got my keys,” Sheskey heard a woman say, according to his attorney Brendan Matthews.
After Graveley made his announcement, Crump released a statement saying, “We are immensely disappointed in Kenosha District Attorney Michael Gravely’s [sic] decision not to charge the officers involved in this horrific shooting. We feel this decision failed not only Jacob and his family, but the community that protested and demanded justice.”
On Monday, Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers announced he was mobilizing 500 National Guard troops ahead of the anticipated protests regarding the DA’s decision.