Kenosha County’s district attorney Mike Gravely announced Tuesday that charges will not be filed against the police officers who shot Jacob Blake in front of his three children, leaving him paralyzed last summer, ABC News reports.
Gravely claims that officer Rusten Sheskey, who shot Blake seven times, was justified in his use of force against the 29-year-old father because Blake was armed with a knife. Further, he stated that Blake defied orders to drop the knife and moved in a manner that made Sheskey believe that he was going to use it. As a result, he claims that the officer fired his gun in self-defense to a perceived threat. Gravely went on to say that Blake admitted that he had a knife in his possession during the entire police encounter.
When probed about whether or not he believes that Sheskey used excessive force, Gravely said that Sheskey told investigators, “I continued to fire until Jacob Blake dropped the knife. I am trained to fire until the threat is stopped.” He also said that Sheskey immediately began to render aid once he saw that Blake was no longer a threat.
Ironically, police seem to successfully deescalate situations when the armed civilian has white skin as evidenced by the uneventful arrest of Kyle Rittenhouse, the teen who shot three protesters, killing two of them, in the wake of Blake’s shooting.
“America’s policing problem has always been a threat to public safety, but the issue is spiraling in Kenosha. In the aftermath of the assault on Mr. Blake, a white supremacist gunman opened fire on protesters, killing two people then walking past police completely unscathed,” said Scott Roberts, Senior Director of Criminal Justice Campaigns at Color Of Change, in a statement obtained by MadameNoire. “The crisis in Kenosha reveals the ugly, racist double-standard of American policing where an armed white gunman can be detained peacefully while an unarmed Black man gets seven bullets in his spine. This system is untenable and it’s costing Black people their lives.”
Blake’s family has expressed disappointment in connection to the decision and has vowed to move forward with an independent investigation.