Blake, who was Black, was shot by Officer Rusten Sheskey during a domestic disturbance that took place in Kenosha, August 2020. Blake was left paralysed from the waist down after the shooting. Protests erupted several nights later, some violent. During one of the protests, an Illinois man shot and killed three people.
After video revealed that Blake was armed and dangerously armed, the state prosecutors decided not file any charges against Sheskey.
After the shooting, the U.S. Department of Justice began its own investigation. The U.S. Department of Justice announced that Friday's investigation was launched by a team from the Civil Rights Division and the U.S. Attorney's Office in Milwaukee. They reviewed video, dispatch logs, police reports and witness statements.
"Accordingly, this incident has been reviewed without a federal prosecution," said the Justice Department in a news release.
Justin Blake, Blake's uncle, said the decision was "unconscionable" because it "definitely steps upon every civil right that we can imagine this nation owes every African American descendant."
He said, "If we had hearts to break, it would be." "But because of all that we've gone through, we are not the same."
Blake was reported by Sheskey and other officers to Sheskey. The woman informed them that Blake was trying her to get her children and her SUV.
Blake was a fight with the officers who tried to take Blake into custody. Sheskey and another officer attempted to shock Blake with their stun guns, but to no avail. Blake attempted to climb into the SUV while his children were in the backseat. Sheskey grabbed his shirt. Sheskey said that Blake was threatening to drive off with his children or take them hostage.
Graveley stated that video shows Blake moving toward Sheskey using a knife. Sheskey was then prompted to fire.
Three months after George Floyd's death, the shooting took place while white Minneapolis police officers held him back. Black Lives Matter supporters inundated Kenosha over several nights with demonstrators setting fires to cars and buildings. Governor Tony Evers had to call in the National Guard.
Antioch, Illinois resident Kyle Rittenhouse answered a call from a local militia to defend Kenosha businesses against looters and vandals in the third night. He shot Joseph Rosenbaum, Anthony Huber, and Gaige Grosskreutz killing Rosenbaum and Huber, and injuring Grosskreutz in his arm. All four of the men were white.
Rittenhouse was charged by the prosecution with multiple charges, including murder. Rittenhouse argued that he fired in self defense after three men attacked him. He will be tried next month.
Conservatives dissatisfied with Black Lives Matter protests rallied around Rittenhouse. They raised $2 million for his bail. Black Lives Matter supporters paint him as a trigger-happy vigilante, who brought a gun to the protests in Kenosha.