Months after a police shooting cause an eruption of riots in Kenosha, Wisconsin, prosecutors declined to bring charges against the officers involved, the Washington Examiner reported.
The city braced for fresh violence as the District Attorney cleared the cops, saying they were acting in self -defense against the suspect Jacob Blake.
No charges in Blake shooting
Blake, 29, was left paralyzed after an encounter with police in August at the home of his girlfriend, who had a restraining order against him. Blake also had an active warrant for sexual assault at the time.
A cellphone video was shared following the incident, in which Blake was seen reaching into his car. Police had tried tasing Blake and a knife was found in the vehicle, authorities later said.
On Tuesday, Kenosha County District Attorney Michael Graveley said that no officers would be charged, noting that Blake had resisted arrest and admitted he was armed with the knife. “Very important — Jacob Blake, while actively resisting, arms himself with a knife … It is absolutely incontrovertible that Jacob Blake was armed with a knife during this encounter,” Graveley said.
“Incontrovertible. Most incontrovertible, because Jacob Blake, in all of the times he spoke to DCI, admits he possessed a knife,” he added.
Family, lawyers protest decision
Graveley also said that the knife could not be seen in the cellphone video seen by the public.
“He even tells us at different times he had the knife in different hands,” Graveley said. “So he arms himself with a knife and refuses to drop that knife.”
The Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division will continue to investigate, but activists involved in the case, and Blake’s family, protested the decision. Ben Crump, a lawyer for Blake also known for representing the family of George Floyd, issued a statement. “We feel that this decision failed not only Jacob and his family, but the community that protested and demanded justice,” he said.
Businesses in the area had boarded up their windows in anticipation of the announcement, evidently still traumatized by rioting that exploded over the summer.
Protesters did gather in downtown Kenosha on Tuesday night, but there were no reports of violence.