The anti-police movement was dealt a setback after the Department of Justice announced that it would not bring federal charges against the Wisconsin police officer who shot Jacob Blake last year, leading to calls for an investigation by both Joe Biden and Kamala Harris.
Blake, who was shot seven times while resisting arrest and admitted that he had a knife, was left partially paralyzed after the incident that set off days of violence and property destruction in Kenosha that CNN described at the time as “fiery but mostly peaceful protests,” a continuation of the unrest during a summer of rage following the fateful encounter between George Floyd and Minneapolis police.
Rusten Sheskey, the officer who fired the shots during a response to a domestic dispute, was cleared after the federal probe found that there was not enough evidence to determine that he “willfully” violated Blake’s civil rights during the August 23, 2020 incident.
According to a statement released by the DOJ on Friday:
“Under the applicable federal criminal civil rights laws, prosecutors must establish, beyond a reasonable doubt, that an officer “willfully” deprived an individual of a constitutional right, meaning that the officer acted with the deliberate and specific intent to do something the law forbids. This is the highest standard of intent imposed by the law. Neither accident, mistake, fear, negligence, nor bad judgment is sufficient to establish a willful federal criminal civil rights violation.”
“After a careful and thorough review, a team of experienced federal prosecutors determined that insufficient evidence exists to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the KPD officer willfully violated the federal criminal civil rights statutes. Accordingly, the review of this incident has been closed without a federal prosecution,” the department announced.
The decision to not criminally charge Sheskey is another blow to Biden who jumped at the chance to politicize the shooting and rushed to meet with Blake’s family.
Afterward, he posted a video to Twitter in which the then-candidate played on emotions in a call for justice for a man with an extensive criminal background who would not have been shot in the first place had he simply obeyed the orders of police.
Once again, a Black man — Jacob Blake — was shot by the police. In front of his children. It makes me sick.
Is this the country we want to be?
Needless violence won’t heal us. We need to end the violence — and peacefully come together to demand justice. pic.twitter.com/WdNqrxA3PK
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) August 26, 2020
“What I saw on that video makes me sick,” said Biden, referring to footage of the attempted arrest. “Once again a black man, Jacob Blake has been shot by the police in broad daylight with the whole world watching.”
Biden added, “You know, I spoke to Jacob’s mom and dad, sister, and other members of the family just a little bit earlier, and I told them justice must and will be done.”
The future POTUS also called for a “full and transparent investigation” into the shooting.
Yesterday, Jacob Blake was shot seven times in the back by police. His kids watched from the car. Today, we woke to grieve yet again.
We need a full and transparent investigation. https://t.co/9X7l25nq8d
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) August 24, 2020
His running mate and future vice president also chimed in as Kamala Harris took to Twitter to call for an “immediate investigation” and a rush to “justice” to hold the officers accountable.
Jacob Blake should not be fighting for his life right now.
As @JoeBiden said, there must be an immediate investigation and the officers involved should be held accountable.
Jacob, our nation is praying for you and your entire family. https://t.co/F4CSs6JnjS
— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) August 24, 2020
The shooting of Blake further inflamed racial tensions that were cynically stoked by Democrats and especially Biden to energize a key demographic months before an election and resulted in both the NBA and NHL calling off playoff games in protest as the corporate world embraced the Black Lives Matter agenda.
Officer Sheskey, who was not charged by local prosecutors, had a federal civil rights lawsuit filed against him by Blake’s family and high-powered attorney Benjamin Crump earlier this year.
As for Biden and Harris, the investigation that they demanded has now been completed although not likely with the conclusion that they anticipated.
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