ACLU Issues Statement Following Charging Decision of Kenosha District Attorney in Shooting of Jacob Blake

Affiliate: ACLU of Wisconsin
January 5, 2021 4:30 pm

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KENOSHA, Wis. — The ACLU today released a statement after Kenosha District Attorney Michael Graveley announced that Kenosha Police Department Officer Rusten Sheskey will not be charged for shooting Jacob Blake in the back seven times, which paralyzed him:

Chris Ott, executive director of the ACLU of Wisconsin said:

“We are disappointed that, instead of holding police accountable for another example of their repeated use of excessive force against people of color, District Attorney Graveley declined to charge Officer Rusten Sheskey in the shooting of Jacob Blake. This continues the cycle of enabling police violence and evading accountability when they seriously injure and harm a Black person. Based on the video footage of the incident, it remains hard to see any reason to shoot Mr. Blake in the back repeatedly. But, as we’ve seen so many times before, the police in this case were held to a different standard of responsibility than the rest of us. Kenosha has given another terrible example in a national pattern of police using excessive force against people of color during routine encounters, escalating situations instead of defusing them and then being given a pass. This officer will continue with his career with the mistaken belief that he has done no wrong, while Jacob Blake will remain paralyzed and left to deal with the consequences of this officer’s actions. Today, justice was not served.”

Carl Takei, senior staff attorney with the ACLU’s Trone Center for Justice and Equality said:

“This decision and the prosecutor’s reliance on tropes of superhuman Black men to justify police fears should not come as a surprise to anyone who has been paying attention to police’s role in Black communities since they began as slave patrols. All of this emphasizes how the criminal legal system, from police to prosecutors, have functioned to oppress and harm Black people. While accountability for the officer might have led to some semblance of justice, real justice would have been Jacob Blake never being shot in the first place.”

This statement is available online at:

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