No Charges Against Officer Who shot Jacob Blake

There are no charges brought up against the officer who shot Jacob Blake


People rioting against the lack of charges on Officer Sheskey Credit: The New York Times

Katherine Conner, Staff Writer/Editor

The top prosecutor in Kenosha, Wisconsin, announced that no charges are being filed against the police officer who shot Jacob Blake. He was shot outside of an apartment building in August and was gravely wounded as a result.

According to CNN, Officer Rusten Sheskey, a white officer, shot Blake, a 29-year-old Black man, seven times in Kenosha, Wisconsin, while responding to a domestic incident on August 23, 2020. Blake survived the shooting but was left paralyzed from the waist down. 

“It is my decision now that no Kenosha law enforcement officer will be charged with any criminal offense based on the facts and laws,” Micheal Graveley, the Kenosha County district attorney said Tuesday, Jan 6. 

The New York Times reports that Graveley announced there will be no charges for the other two officers involved in the incident. They were identified by the Wisconsin Justice Department in September as Officers Vincent Arenas and Brittany Meronek. Blake will also not face any charges, Graveley continues. 

Graveley said a case against the officer would have been hard to prove, partially because it would be difficult to overcome an argument that the officer was protecting himself. The prosecutor said that Mr. Blake had turned down an officer with the knife immediately before he was shot. The case involved a white officer shooting a black man, circumstances which the prosecutor said made it especially difficult. 

“I feel in many ways completely inadequate for this moment,” said Graveley. “I have never in my life had a moment where I had to contend with explicit or implicit bias based on my race.” New York Times

According to the Washington Post, Blake’s family argued that multiple of the characterizations that Graveley made about Blake and the incident during Tuesday’s news conference, is incorrect. “Jacob never posed harm to anyone,” said B. Ivory Lamar, the family attorney. Lamar called the district attorney’s claim that Blake had a knife a “completely bogus rationalization of what was really an intentional act to shoot him seven times in the back”. Conviction rates have jumped from 75% to 85% in the last 20 years.