Jacob Blake Protest
Kenosha Unrest: Teen Arrested In Deadly Shootings During Jacob Blake Protests Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images

The police officer involved in the shooting of Jacob Blake in August will not be facing criminal charges. Kenosha County District Attorney Michael Gravely announced on Tuesday that he would not be able to disprove Officer Rusten Sheskey’s self-defense claims after firing seven bullets during the struggle with Blake.

In a news conference, Gravely said his decision was based on evidence that was analyzed by former police Chief Noble Wray who was hired by the Wisconsin Department of Justice to review the evidence. Wray’s findings strongly mirrored how Blake had created a dangerous situation prompting Sheskey to react.

Graveley repeatedly pointed to the officers’ allegations that Blake threatened them with a knife, USA Today reported

“It is absolutely incontrovertible that Jacob Blake was armed with a knife during this encounter,” Graveley said, as he showed an enhanced image from the video showing Blake holding an object moments before the shooting.

Blake reportedly acknowledged to investigators that he had a “razor blade-type knife” in his hand before he was shot.

“All the discussion that he’s unarmed contradicts even what he himself has said multiple times to investigators”, Gravely added.

The District Attorney argued that Blake had lied to investigators and described him as a suspected domestic abuser. He also cited police reports on Blake who had an arrest warrant for sexual assault and was also was arrested in 2010 by Cook County sheriff’s police in Des Plaines, for pulling a knife on an officer during a traffic stop.

Like in most states, Wisconsin law states that officers can shoot if they reasonably believe this is necessary to protect themselves or anyone else from serious injury.

Brendan Matthews, Sheskey’s lawyer said his client "was presented with a difficult and dangerous situation and he acted appropriately and in accordance with his training."

Chicago Tribune said the two other Kenosha police officers, Brittany Meronek and Vincent Arenas, who were both present during the incident were also not charged. According to the Kenosha Police Department, all three officers remain on administrative leave.

Blake’s shooting propelled Wisconsin into the spotlight after a video of the shooting sparked protests and violent demonstrations. Blake, 29, was shot in the back and is now paralyzed from the waist down. His father, Jacob Blake Sr., said he will push Congress to pass national police reforms that hold officers accountable for shooting citizens.

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