Kenosha (United States) (AFP)
No police will be charged in the shooting of African-American Jacob Blake, who was left paralyzed in an incident that sparked unrest in the US town of Kenosha in August, the prosecutor said on Tuesday.
Kenosha County District Attorney Michael Graveley said white policeman Rusten Sheskey had a reasonable allegation of fear of stabbing when he shot Blake several times in the back as Blake attempted to climb into his car.
Graveley said it was a “very restrictive decision,” but that, based on the existing law on shootings involving officers, it would be difficult for state prosecutors to prove that Sheskey n was not engaged in self-defense if he or others were charged in the case. .
“No Kenosha law enforcement officer in this case will be charged with any criminal offense, based on the facts of the law,” Graveley said.
The shooting of the 29-year-old on August 23 in the city of Wisconsin fueled national anger following police shootings against black Americans, sparking several days of violent protests.
Bystander’s video showed Sheskey firing several shots in the back of Blake as he tried to get into his car while his three children were sitting inside.
Blake survived but was left paralyzed, without using his legs.
Graveley said officers had reason to believe Blake was dangerous based on 911 calls at the scene of his estranged fiancée, an arrest warrant for Blake for domestic violence and what Blake told officers as he tried to leave the area with his three children. in the car.
The district attorney also said officers made three attempts to demolish Blake to subdue him, which were unsuccessful.
Graveley added that it was “absolutely indisputable” that Blake had armed himself with a knife while being confronted with the police, and that Blake himself admitted it.
He added that Blake will also not be charged with any crime in the incident.
The shooting sparked three nights of violent protests which culminated on the night of August 25 when, drawn to the city by calls from the right-wing militia, a 17-year-old man carrying an assault rifle, Kyle Rittenhouse, shot dead two protesters and injured. a third.
Earlier on Tuesday, Rittenhouse pleaded “not guilty” to murder charges in the shooting.
Before Graveley’s announcement, the city girded itself in a new wave of protests.
Kenosha businesses have put up showcases for possible violence and Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers has ordered the State National Guard to mobilize 500 guards to assist law enforcement in Kenosha if needed .
Blake’s case fueled the electoral battle between Democrat Joe Biden and President Donald Trump, with Biden offering his support to Blake’s family and speaking out against systemic racism in law enforcement, while Trump voiced his support for police plus law and order, and Rittenhouse.
© 2021 AFP