Kenosha shooting update!
On Tuesday, Prosecutors in Kenosha Wisconsin decided not to
file any criminal charges against a police officer who shot Jacob Blake seven
times in the back that sparked nationwide outrage and protests against police
NBA players shut down the play for three days in protest
against the incident, with the WNBA and Major League Baseball also decided to postpone
matches. The Tuesday decision also prompted a response from the athletes, with
NBA players LeBron James and Wesley Matthews, Milwaukee’s Bucks and the
Marquette men’s basketball team calls for a constant escalation in the fight
against racial police brutalities.
Jacob Blake, a black man, was shot seven times by a white Kenosha
police officer Rusten Sheskey on August 23, 2020. Blake is now paralyzed for a lifetime.
The entire shooting incident took place in front of his three young children
and was also recorded on camera by a bystander. This prompted large protests
and unrest in Kenosha, with law enforcement made over 250 arrests during the
course of several days of protests.
This violent demonstration also resulted in
two people’s deaths, Antioch teenager Kyle Rittenhouse facing murder charges
and some parts of the southeastern Wisconsin city in blazes.
According to Kenosha County District Attorney Michael
Gravely, the other two police officers involved in the incident, Brittany
Meronek and Vincent Arenas, will also not face any charges.
Graveley said that he would not be able to disprove these
officers’ claims of firing a weapon in an attempt of self-defense.
“I do not believe the state…. Would be able to prove
that the privilege of self-defense is not available,” said Graveley.
The decision of not filing criminal charges against officers
involved in the shooting drew immediate criticism from several activists, civil
right organization and also the victim’s family. Blake’s father held a press
conference shortly after the decision said he will request congress for passing
national police reforms that hold police accountable for unjust shooting on the
“We must abolish the right for a policeman to be seen
on a higher plane than citizens of the United States,” Jacob Blake Sr.
said in the statement, “We can’t have a Bill of Rights for the police and
a Bill of Rights for the police. We are all people. We are all the same
people…. Our fight is not over.”
Kenosha Police officers won’t face any charges?
The Tuesday’s decision is based on the same old arguments
that have long protected officers from unjust on-duty shootings i.e. firing a
weapon as an attempt of self-defense.
Just like in most states, Wisconsin law also permits
officers of shooting on-duty if they deem necessary to protect themselves or
anyone from critical assault or injury. Kenosha officers accused Blake for
menacing them with a knife, which Black categorically denied.
The prosecutor Graveley explained to the media how Sheskey
would be immune to criminal charges, as the defense argument is heavily relied
on the fact that Blake was carrying a knife at the incident. He displayed an
enhanced image from the video of the incident, where Blake was seen holding a
sharp object just minutes before officers opened a fire on him.
also acknowledged that he was carrying a “razor blade-type knife” in
his hands before he was shot.
Graveley said that Blake was a suspected domestic abuser and
already had an arrest warrant for sexual assault. Graveley also showed a police
report suggesting that he was arrested in 2010 by Cook County officer for
pulling a knife on an active on-duty officer.
“He would be subject to absolutely devastating
cross-examination,” said Graveley. “That would be the jury trial that
would occur if Officer Sheskey was charged.”
Though, Graveley failed to mention that a Cook County judge
later dismissed all the 2010 charges against Blake.
In an outside analysis conducted by former Madison Police
Chief Noble Wray, who is also Black, showed that Blake created a dangerous
situation that evoked Sheskey to respond with fire.
The entire confrontation of Blake with the police was
described as a “domestic abuse situation” where the mother of Blake’s
children, who is also an alleged victim of sexual violence, called 911 to
complain about him for taking the car keys and suspected that he would take it
and crash it.
While arriving at the scene, Sheskey saw Blake keeping his
child in the car. The officers told investigators that Blake shouted at them, “I’m
taking the kid and I am taking the car.”
Officers at the scene tried to apprehend Blake, but he
resisted. They even tried to strike Blake with Tasers three times, but
electrical shocks failed to stop him either, according to officials.
However, Blake’s statements are mostly conflicted with that
of Graveley presented to the press.
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Jacob Blake shooting incident.