Kenosha County District Attorney Michael Graveley on Tuesday said neither the officers involved in Blake’s shooting, nor Blake himself will be charged with any crimes.
(The Center Square) – No one will be charged in connection to Jacob Blake’s shooting by a Kenosha police officer.
A Kenosha police officer shot and wounded Blake on Aug. 23. Police were trying to arrest Blake that day for violating an order of protection. He was at his ex-girlfriend’s home. She had accused Blake of sexual assault not long before.
“No Kenosha law enforcement officer in this case will be charged with any criminal offense, based on the facts and the laws,” Graveley said. “I am going to also tell you, because I believe it is important, that no charge will be filed against Jacob Blake in regard to this incident either.”
Investigators said in August that Blake had a knife either on him or in the car.
Video shows Blake wrestling and fighting with officers, who tried and failed to use a Taser to subdue Blake. The last seconds of that video went viral. They show Blake walking around to the front of his ex-girlfriend’s SUV, opening the door, and reaching in. That’s when the officer fired.
At the time, Wisconsin’s governor and lieutenant governor were critical of Kenosha Police for the shooting.
Blake was left paralyzed after the shooting.
Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes, perhaps, made the most inflammatory remarks after Blake’s shooting.
“Jacob Blake was shot in the back multiple times, in broad daylight, in Kenosha, Wisconsin,” Evers said in a statement in August. “While we do not have all of the details yet, what we know for certain is that he is not the first Black man or person to have been shot or injured or mercilessly killed at the hands of individuals in law enforcement in our state or our country.”
Graveley on Tuesday said Blake’s shooting is a tragedy for everyone involved.
“This wasn’t bad police work,” Barnes said after the shooting. “This felt like some sort of vendetta taken out on a member of our community.”
Graveley said the shooting has also been a tragedy for the city of Kenosha, which saw nights of riots in August after of the shooting.
“I have thought several times, and had a quick conversation with Mr. Blake today, about his children who were in that vehicle,” Graveley told reporters. “And I don’t want to leave out the officers whose entire careers, in fact their whole lives, have been judged by a few seconds…. There is a tragedy there.”
Evers on Monday ordered 500 National Guard troops to Kenosha to help keep the peace. The city council in Kenosha on Monday also approved an emergency declaration that allows for the city to respond to protests and any violence that may happen.
There is fear there will be another round of rioting this week.
Rittenhouse shot and killed two people during Kenosha’s final night of violence in August. He shot and wounded a third person. Rittenhouse’s lawyers insist he fired in self defense.
The decision not to charge anyone in the Blake case came on the same day that Kyle Rittenhouse pleaded not guilty to the charges in his case.