The shooting left Blake paralyzed from the waist down
Protesters descended on the Kenosha County Administration Building in Wisconsin on Tuesday evening following the district attorney’s decision not to charge any of the officers involved in the August shooting of Jacob Blake, according to a report.
“Seven shots in the back! No, that ain’t right!” some of the around 60 protesters chanted outside the building, Kenosha News reported.
National Guard troops stood nearby in front of the courthouse, after Gov. Tony Evers ordered them deployed in anticipation of possible violence.
“Does this look like a violent assembly to you?” a protester called to the Guard members over a megaphone. “Because you all look pretty stupid right now.”
There were no reports of violence or vandalism as of 9 p.m. CT, Kenosha News reported.
District Attorney Michael Graveley said Tuesday afternoon that Kenosha police Officer Rusten Sheskey, who allegedly shot Blake seven times during a domestic disturbance call Aug. 23 had a good case for self-defense. Blake was left paralyzed from the waist down.
The Blake shooting led to protests two nights later for which Illinois resident Kyle Rittenhouse, now 18, faces charges in connection with the shootings deaths of two men and the wounding of a third. Rittenhouse on Tuesday pleaded not guilty.
Meanwhile, Kenosha’s City Council voted 9-7 on Monday to increase the fine for inciting violence from $124 to $1,321. The council also unanimously approved an emergency declaration in anticipation of protests related to the district attorney’s decision.
“Everybody has seen the video,” Graveley said of the cell phone video of the Blake shooting that went viral and sparked the subsequent protests. “From their perspective, they have tried this case from their computer screen in their living room. As a professional, I am called upon on how to try this case in a real courtroom.”
“If you don’t believe you can prove a case beyond a reasonable doubt, you have an ethical obligation not to issue charges,” he added at the news conference.
Graveley said Blake, 29, was armed with a knife that was not visible in the video footage and admitted to having one during the incident. Statements that he was unarmed contradict what Blake, who had an active felony warrant for his arrest at the time of the shooting, told authorities, Graveley said.
A woman had called 911 on Aug. 23, saying Blake refused to return keys to a rental car. Video footage of the incident captured Blake walking away from the officer and around a vehicle with his children inside, then he is shot seven times.
Four bullets struck Blake in the back and three hit his left side, Graveley said.
At one point, officers attempted to use a stun gun to stop Blake. Sheskey told investigators he opened fire because he was afraid Blake was trying to harm the children inside the vehicle.