Nationally renowned civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump and co-counsels Patrick A. Salvi II and B’Ivory LaMarr released a statement following the news that Kenosha District Attorney Michael Gravely decided that no charges will be pursued against Kenosha police officer Rusten Sheskey in the Aug. 23 shooting of Jacob Blake.
The statement reads as follows: “We are immensely disappointed in Kenosha District Attorney Michael Gravely’s decision not to charge the officers involved in this horrific shooting. We feel this decision failed not only Jacob and his family, but the community that protested and demanded justice.
“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.
“We urge Americans to continue to raise their voices and demand change in peaceful and positive ways during this emotional time.”
A viral video taken the day of the shooting shows Blake walking towards his vehicle as officers had their guns drawn on him. As soon as he entered the car, one of the officers began shooting him in front of his three sons. He was struck in the back seven times.
Blake, 29, suffered but received severe injuries to his arm, kidney, liver and spinal cord and was hospitalized until last October. "He had a bullet go through some or all of his spinal cord, at least one bullet. He has holes in his stomach," Patrick Salvi Jr., one of his attorneys, said at a press conference last August, according to CNN. "He had to have nearly his entire colon and small intestines removed."
Blake is currently paralyzed from the waist down.
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