With the news of two officers that were involved in Breonna Taylor’s case being fired, it seems like the Black Lives Matter movement has taken a few steps back with the news that a police officer will not be charged for shooting a black man. That black man being Jacob Blake who was shot in his back seven times by Officer Rusten Sheskey earlier this year.
The district attorney in Kenosha, Wis. declined to bring charges against Officer Sheskey. The altercation between Officer Sheskey and Blake started outside of an apartment building, which led to Blake being shot seven times and sooner being paralyzed from the waist down due to the shooting. The shooting led to many protests and rioting within the city of Kenosha which also added to the already built-up tension from the killing of George Floyd.
Kenosha’s district attorney Michael Graveley decided to not file charges on Tuesday afternoon. According to the New York Times, Graveley said, “A case against the officer would have been very hard to prove, in part because it would be difficult to overcome an argument that the officer was protecting himself. He said Mr. Blake had admitted to holding a knife — even describing switching it from one hand to another as he moved to open a car door — and that statements from officers and other witnesses indicated that Mr. Blake had turned toward an officer with the knife immediately before he was shot.” Graveley also stated that investigators went over 40 hours of video and hundreds of pages of police reports before making his decision.
Blake’s family expressed their frustration about the decision that was made on Tuesday. They thought that the video evidence of the shooting made it clear that Officer Sheskey acted and handled the situation inappropriately. Justin Blake, Jacob Blake’s uncle stated, “This is bigger, greater than little Jake. This is about all the little Jakes. That’s why people keep coming out and supporting us. You know why? Because it could have been them.”
Blake’s family isn’t the only one that expressed their anger about the decision to not charge Officer Sheskey. Jacob Blake’s case gained national attention, which led to many celebrities to speak out about the case. The NBA is one of the organizations that have been very vocal about police brutality and injustices. Lakers player Lebron James spoke with reporters about the decision, which he stated that the prosecutor’s decision was “a blow to the heart and the gut.”
This decision to not go forward to press charges, just adds to the growing list of many black people that have been treated horribly by the police and never got their justice. It’s a growing pattern of showing why Black lives will always matter, no matter if the victims are alive or have been killed.