Kenosha County District Attorney Michael Graveley announced today that he will not be charging Kenosha Police Officer Rusten Sheskey (https://copblaster.com/blast/25929/kenosha-police-officer-rusten-sheskey-named-as-jacob-blakes-shooter) for shooting Jacob Blake in the back seven times last summer. Graveley stated that Sheskey did not break any laws and seemed to base his decision primarily on the fact that Blake was armed with a knife. We believe that Sheskey's use of force exceeded the amount of force necessary to deal with a crazy guy that brought a knife to a gun fight and should be held accountable.
The incident was caught on camera by a witness that filmed the entire thing from across the street (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QdH-rmw2cgg). At no point in that footage did Blake try to stab Sheskey or anyone else. That is important because it shows that although he was armed that he was not an imminent threat. He could clearly be seen walking around the front of his car with a knife in his hand, opening the door, and trying to climb inside when Officer Sheskey grabbed Blake's shirt from behind as Blake continued moving away from him. That was when Officer Sheskey shot him in the back seven times. A man being armed with a knife is sometimes grounds for a justified shooting, but usually it does not justify shooting the person in the back or more than a couple times. Had Blake been approaching Sheskey that might have justified shooting him once or twice to stop him, but that was not the case. If Sheskey feared for his life why did he make an aggressive move towards Blake and grab his shirt? Those are not the actions of someone that is defending themselves. Because Sheskey obviously did not perceive Blake to be an imminent threat to his life he was not justified shooting him. Police officers are trained to use less than lethal force in such situations. Never did Sheskey or any other officer attempt to use a taser or some other alternative to a gun before shooting Blake. They should have tried using a taser to take him down and disarm him before he got anywhere near the front door of his car.
DA Graveley called the shooting self defense just because Blake was armed. If seeing someone with a weapon were justification enough to shoot them then every 2nd Amendment rally in America would end in a massacre. Officer Sheskey was not justified shooting Blake for the same reasons we argue that Joseph Rosenbaum was not justified attacking Kyle Rittenhouse (https://copblaster.com/blast/25930/kenosha-protester-shot-in-self-defense-by-kyle-rittenhouse). In that case, Rittenhouse was illegally carrying a gun, but that did not give Rosenbaum the right to chase him down. Only after Rittenhouse tried his best to run away did he shoot Rosenbaum. Then he ran down the street, was chased by a crowd, tripped, and only after he was attacked on the ground did he fire a second volley. That too is a good example of self defense. Rittenhouse had a duty to retreat because he was engaged in unlawful activity at the time, but as a police officer there was no duty to retreat on the part of Officer Sheskey. Still, there was no aggressive move towards Sheskey by Blake to justify deadly force.
To DA Graveley's credit, his office decided that seven shots in the back was punishment enough and will not be charging Blake for any of his conduct leading up to the shooting. That is a commendable decision because technically he could have charged Blake with a number of things related to his display of the knife and refusal to follow orders. The underlying conduct for which Blake was being arrested in the first place amounted to at worst disorderly conduct (https://www.chicagotribune.com/news/breaking/ct-jacob-blake-plea-assault-case-20201109-7poodp4cvjdnzbhq7pij6sgw7q-story.html). We say "at worst" because although he was originally charged with sexual assault, the fact that the DA offered to drop that charge in exchange for a disorderly conduct plea indicates that they had no case against Blake to begin with. Had Blake simply been charged with disorderly conduct from the start he probably would have taken the case to trial. It is common practice for prosecutors that wrongfully charge people with sex crimes to offer them the opportunity to plead guilty to lesser charges that allow them to avoid having a sex conviction on their record. Most people accept those offers because of the life long consequences of being a convicted sex offender. A lot the people pleading guilty in such cases are actually innocent.
People have attacked us publicly with accusations that we have been supporting a pedophile. If that were true then a search for Blake's name in the Wisconsin Sex Offender Registry (https://appsdoc.wi.gov/public/offenders) probably would not have resulted in zero matches. The background check service we usually use does not have any records for Jacob S. Blake indicating that his information was probably removed via an opt-out option. Without his total history to go on, we have to rely on news reports when we say that we have seen no evidence to suggest that Jacob Blake has ever been convicted of a sexually based offense. According to USA Today, Jacob Blake had no criminal history at all (https://www.jsonline.com/story/news/2021/01/05/jacob-blake-shooting-facts-whats-going-kenosha-investigation-graveley-sheskey-curfew-national-guard/4141735001/). For the aforementioned reasons we do not believe that we are supporting a pedophile.