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A US prosecutor says he will not press criminal charges against a white police officer who shot a black man in the back in Kenosha, Wisconsin, earlier this year, paralyzing him and sparking sometimes violent protests in the city.

Sheskey officer resting filming of Jacob Blake On Aug. 23, captured on video by a passerby, he brought the nation’s attention to Wisconsin during a summer marked by protests over police brutality and racism.
More than 250 people were arrested in the days that followed, including 17-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse, a self-described doctor with an assault rifle who is accused of shooting and wounding two men and wounding a third.

Kenosha County District Attorney Michael Graveley said Tuesday that he had informed Blake of the news before holding a press conference to announce his decision.

Jacob Blake survived the shooting, but was paralyzed from the waist down.
Jacob Blake survived the shooting, but was paralyzed from the waist down. (Supplied)

The Blake shooting occurred three months after George Floyd died while being pinned down by police officers in Minneapolis, a death that was captured on video from bystanders and sparked outrage and protests that spread across the United States and beyond.

The galvanized Black Lives Matter movement put the spotlight on uneven policing and it became a policy flaw, with President Donald Trump slamming protesters and aggressively pushing a law and order message he tried to capitalize on Wisconsin and others. undecided states.

Kenosha, a city of 100,000 on the Wisconsin-Illinois border about 60 miles north of Chicago, prepared for new protests ahead of the charges, with concrete barricades and metal fences surrounding the Kenosha County Courthouse. and plywood that protects many companies.

The Common Council unanimously passed an emergency resolution Monday night giving the mayor the power to impose curfews, among other things, and Gov. Tony Evers activated 500 National Guard soldiers to help.

Sheskey was among the officers who responded to a woman who had reported that her boyfriend was not supposed to be around. Cell phone video shows Blake walking toward the driver’s side door of a pickup truck as officers follow him with guns drawn and yelling. When Blake opens the door and leans into the truck, Sheskey grabs his shirt from behind and opens fire.

Civil unrest over the shooting of black man Jacob Blake
Men walk toward police with their hands up on August 24 in Kenosha, Wisconsin. The civil unrest occurred after the shooting of 29-year-old Jacob Blake on August 23. Mr. Blake was shot multiple times in the back by Wisconsin police officers after attempting to get into the driver’s side of a vehicle. (Brandon Bell / Getty Images)

The Kenosha Police Union said Blake was armed with a knife and Sheskey ordered him several times to drop it, but he did not. Sheskey’s attorney, Brendan Matthews, said Sheskey fired because Blake began to turn toward the officer while holding a knife.

State investigators had only said that officers saw a knife on the floor of the truck and had not said whether Blake threatened anyone with it. The officers were not equipped with body cameras.

Sheskey, 31, has been the subject of five internal investigations since joining the Kenosha department in 2013, including three reprimands for crashing his patrol three times over three years. He has also won 16 awards, letters or formal accolades, his personal file shows.

The state Department of Justice investigated the shooting under a state law that requires outside agencies to investigate all incidents involving officers. The department asked former Madison Police Chief Noble Wray, who is black, to review its findings after Graveley requested an outside expert to review the investigation.

This undated photograph provided by the Wisconsin Department of Justice shows Kenosha Police Officer Rusten Sheskey.
This undated photograph provided by the Wisconsin Department of Justice shows Kenosha Police Officer Rusten Sheskey. (Wisconsin Department of Justice / AP)

Rittenhouse, who was among the gunmen who took to the streets of Kenosha during the violence and said he was there to help protect businesses, faces multiple charges, including intentional homicide.

Video from a bystander showed Rittenhouse shooting Joseph Rosenbaum and Anthony Huber and wounding a third man. Rittenhouse, who is white, has claimed that the three men attacked him and fired in self-defense. Conservatives across the country have been raising money for their legal team. Rittenhouse was 17 at the time of the shooting.

Rittenhouse pleaded guilty to all charges in a hearing Tuesday.

Prosecutors dropped a sexual assault charge against Blake in November as part of a settlement in which he pleaded guilty to two misdemeanors of disorderly conduct. He was sentenced to two years of probation.

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