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KENOSHA, Wis. – Kenosha County District Attorney Michael Graveley announced Tuesday that no Wisconsin police officers will be charged in the shooting of Jacob Blake in August.

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Graveley announced the decision in a news conference.

Blake was shot in the back seven times on Aug. 23 after walking away from a Kenosha police officer and two others who were trying to arrest him. Officer Rusten Sheskey shot Blake after Blake opened an SUV’s driver-side door and leaned into the vehicle. Blake was left paralyzed from the waist down.

Graveley said Sheskey was justified in his use of deadly force.

“This case is all about self-defense,” Graveley said. “And can it be proven that it does not exist.”

Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul appointed former Madison Police Chief Nobel Wray to conduct an independent investigation into the shooting, WISN reported.

Blake remains paralyzed and continues to receive care at a facility in Chicago, the television station reported.

Graveley said the three officers involved in the shooting and Blake have all cooperated with the district attorney’s office. The two other Kenosha officers who were present when Blake was shot, Brittany Meronek and Vincent Arenas. were not charged, the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reported.

“Thankfully, Jacob Blake is alive,” Graveley said. “He is grievously injured, but he is not deceased, but this (state) statute is an excellent guide to allow us our best chance at an independent investigation and charging decision. The statute first requires an investigation by an independent agency, and in this case, the Department of Justice’s Division of Criminal Investigation got to the scene as soon as they could. They cleared the scene and immediately became the investigative agency.

“In this situation, an exhaustive investigation was done — more than 40 hours of squad video, hundreds of pages of electronic information, almost 200 separate law enforcement reports — and almost 1,500 pages of police reports, so this was clearly a dramatically exhaustive investigation.”

Blake’s attorneys, led by Benjamin Crump, issued a statement and said they were “immensely disappointed” in Graveley’s announcement.

“We feel this decision failed not only Jacob and his family, but the community that protested and demanded justice,” the statement said. “Officer Sheskey’s actions sparked outrage and advocacy throughout the country, but the district attorney’s decision not to charge the officer who shot Jacob in the back multiple times, leaving him paralyzed, further destroys trust in our justice system. This sends the wrong message to police officers throughout the country. It says it is OK for police to abuse their power and recklessly shoot their weapon, destroying the life of someone who was trying to protect his children.

“This is not the news we were hoping for, but our work is not done and hope is not lost. It is now our duty to broaden the fight for justice on behalf of Jacob and the countless other Black men and women who are victims of racial injustice and police brutality in this country. We will continue to press forward with a civil lawsuit and fight for systemic change in policing and transparency at all levels.”

Sheskey was among the officers responding to a woman who had reported her boyfriend was not supposed to be in the area, WITI reported. Cellphone video shows Blake walking to the driver-side door of an SUV as officers follow him with guns drawn, shouting. As Blake opens the door and leans into the SUV, Sheskey grabs his shirt from behind and opens fire, the television station reported.

“It is absolutely incontrovertible that Jacob Blake was armed with a knife,” Graveley said after showing a video of the struggle between Blake and the police officers. “All the discussions that he is unarmed contradicts what even (Blake) told officers.”

On Monday night, the Kenosha Common Council unanimously approved a resolution declaring an emergency in the City of Kenosha, WITI reported. The declaration grants Kenosha Mayor John Antaramian emergency authority upon the announcement of the decision. The declaration is set to last eight days.

Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers authorized the Wisconsin National Guard “to support local law enforcement and first responders in Kenosha,” with approximately 500 troops mobilized, the television station reported.

Who is Rusten Sheskey?

Rusten Sheskey, who shot Jacob Blake seven times in the back, has been with the Kenosha Police Department since 2013.