Kenosha, Wis. – Kenosha, a prosecutor in Vij, has refused to dismiss charges against Rusten Besch, a police officer who shot Jacob Blake outside an apartment building in August, an episode that sparked protests and uproar and Made the city a quick flash. In a summer of unrest that began with The murder of George Floyd.
The decision was announced Tuesday by Kenosha County District Attorney Michael Gravelle, who said investigators had reviewed the 40-hour video and hundreds of pages of police.
A lawyer for Mr Blake’s family expressed “overwhelming disappointment” in the announcement. “This decision failed not only for Jacob and his family, but the communities demanding protest and justice,” lawyer, Ben Crump, Wrote on twitter.
Even before he expressed his resolve, Mr. Graveley requested his community – and country – to maintain peace.
“Instead of burning things, can moments of such tragedy be an opportunity to make things?” He asked.
The case involved a white officer shooting a black man, the prosecutor said, adding that the circumstances led to a decision specifically for him.
“I feel completely inadequate for the moment,” said Mr. Gravelle, who is white. “I have never seen a moment in my life where I have to contend with a clear or implicit bias based on my race. There has never been a moment in my life where I have to fear for my safety with police officers or people of authority. “
He said he also does not have the experience facing police officers, “I know I can face armed individuals who may try to end my life.”
Mr. Blake’s lawyer, who is 29 years old, has been awaiting a verdict for months and has been holding regular demonstrations in Kenosha, calling on Mr. Graveley to press charges against the officer.
The community sank into tension before the announcement, as residents and officials eagerly sought to stop the unrest that followed the shooting last summer.
Many of Kenosha’s businesses closed on Tuesday in anticipation of the charging decision, and some roads were closed. Members of the National Guard stood near the Kenosha County Courthouse, surrounded by an iron fence. At the Subway Sandwich Shop, two blocks from the courtyard, fresh plywood was installed on Tuesday, as happened during the summer unrest. One employee, Tyler Blazek, said, “If the decision goes in favor of the police, we’re wondering how it will turn up.”
The city council unanimously announced an emergency on Monday, allowing the mayor to enforce the curfew after the district attorney made his charging public.
The sheriff for Kenosha County also declared a state of emergency, which he said would allow him to change his schedule of duties.
Officer Sheskey, Who was employed by the Kenosha Police Department for seven years, was placed on administrative leave after the shooting. His lawyer Brendan P. Matthews said in December that he was on leave.
The shooting was canceled on August 23 after three officers arrived at an apartment complex in Kenosha in response to a domestic officer.
As officers attempted to take Mr. Blake into custody, he drove away from the officers along the passenger side of a four-door SUV, as his three children were waiting in the back seat of the vehicle. The officers used a tusser to subdue Mr. Blake, who was ineffective; Officer Shesky grabbed Mr. Blake’s shirt and stuck his gun several times in Mr. Blake’s back.
Two other officers were pointing their guns at Mr. Blake during the incident.
According to state officials, Mr. Blake admitted that he was in possession of a knife; Later Mr. near the driver’s seat. A knife was recovered from the floor of Blake’s car. There were no other weapons in the vehicle.
The shooting was captured on a cellphone video, which was widely shared, fueling protests and destruction in Kenosha.
The Justice Department opened a civil rights investigation into the case.
Democratic government governor Tony Evers condemned the shooting immediately thereafter. “While we do not yet have all the details, what we do know is that the first black person or person was not shot or injured or brutally killed at the hands of individuals in law enforcement in our state or our Country, ” He said on twitter.
For several days in August, protests and catastrophe erupted on the streets of Kenosha as rioters burned buildings, cars and garbage trucks, smashing roadside and spray-painted graffiti on schools and businesses. Hundreds of National Guards were called to Kenosha in an attempt to restore order, using tear gas and rubber bullets to remove the protesters.
Two days after the shooting of Mr. Blake, Kyle Rittenhouse, then 17 years old, shot and killed two people on a downtown street described as an act of self-defense by his lawyer. He was charged with six criminal cases, including first-degree intentional homicide.
Mr. Rittenhouse, now 18 years old, pleaded not guilty to the charges during a brief trauma inflicted through videoconferencing on Tuesday. His case is to proceed in March.
Outside the courtyard on Tuesday afternoon, two protesters said they were there to support Mr. Rittenhouse.
“I am here to support Kyle. Self-crime is not a crime, ”said 34-year-old Tim Konrad, who took 90 minutes from Joliet, Ill., To be in Kenosha.
Plainfield, Il. His friend Emily Cahill, 32, took out a poster saying “IGY6 Kyle” means “I got your back, Kyle”.
John Antramian, Mayor of Kenosha, and Daniel Miskinis, the city’s police chief Wrote an op-ed in Kenosha News In December, they said they would not allow the destruction of businesses following Mr Graveley’s announcement.
“Whether you agree or disagree, we ask that you express your opinion in peace and in law,” he wrote. “We will not – we cannot – bear the kind of violence we saw on our streets earlier this year and we will take definite steps to protect our residents and businesses.”
The Department of Justice and its Criminal Investigation Division led the investigation into the shooting of Mr. Blake. On September 21, Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul announced that the state would be brought in by an external advisor, Noble Ray, a former police chief, to conduct an independent review of the case.
Mr. Blake was partially paralyzed after the shooting, breaking his spine; His family said he was unlikely to walk again.
At the time of shooting, Mr. Blake was facing charges stemming from a July incident. On November 6, Prosecutor in Kenosha County Circuit Court Dropped one count of third-degree sexual assault and agreed to drop one count of criminal trespass if Mr. Blake pleaded guilty to two counts of disorderly conduct. court records And Mr. Blake’s lawyer, Patrick Cafferty.
Mr. Blake, who made a court appearance via a zoom from a rehabilitation center in Illinois where he was receiving treatment for his spinal cord injuries, pleaded guilty to two disorderly conduct charges and was sentenced to two years in prison. Sentenced to probation of
Walworth County District Attorney, Zeke Wiedenfeld, who prosecuted the case, said the sexual harassment charge had been dropped because the woman who accused Mr. Blake refused to cooperate with prosecutors. Mr Blake said that he had not sexually assaulted her.
Robert cherito Reported from Kenosha, and Julie Bosman From Chicago. John eligon Reporting contribution from Kansas City, Mo.