Kenosha County District Attorney Michael Graveley found that police officer Rusten Sheskey acted in self-defense and said he would not issue any charges in connection with the incident.
The decision neither to prosecute Sheskey nor the two other officers on the scene could incite more demonstrations, which have frequently broken out in the United States in recent years after police have been cleared of wrongdoing in shootings of African Americans.
During a police intervention in a domestic dispute that was captured on cellphone video, Sheskey shot at Blake's back seven times from close range as Blake opened the door of his car, striking him four times and paralyzing him from the waist down.
Officials said Blake was armed with a knife and refused police commands to drop it, which Graveley said gave Sheskey the right to self-defense.
MICHAEL GRAVELEY: --the involved law enforcement. And it is my decision now, that I announce today before you, that no Kenosha law enforcement officer in this case will be charged with any criminal offense, based on the facts and the laws as I will describe them to you now. So it is our decision that no charge will be filed. I'm going to also tell you, just because I think it is important, that no charge will be filed against Jacob Blake in regards to this incident as well.
This case has to be laser-focused on what a jury trial would look like. Everybody has seen the video. And so, from their perspective, they have tried this case at their computer screen or in their living room. As a professional, I am called upon to talk about how to try this case in a real jury room.
This case is really all about self-defense, and can it be proven that it does not exist? It is really evidence about the perspective of Officer Sheskey. What is his knowledge at each moment? And what does a reasonable officer do at each decision point? Those would be the things that would be primary, and almost none of those things are answered by the deeply disturbing video that we have all seen. Almost none of those things are answered.