Jacob Blake's family, attorneys 'immensely disappointed' by DA's decision
Blake's uncle, Justin Blake, attorney B'Ivory LaMarr and Kenosha community leaders held a news conference on Tuesday, Jan. 5 outside Regimen Barber Collective following the announcement from Kenosha County District Attorney Michael Graveley.
"We are immensely disappointed in Kenosha District Attorney Michael (Graveley’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," said attorneys Ben Crump, Patrick A. Salvi II and LaMarr in a statement.
They also said the decision "further destroys trust in our justice system" and "sends the wrong message to police officers throughout the country."
LaMarr said the attorneys will also be looking at civil action.
"There was no de-escalation. We believe that shooting an individual seven times while walking away from the officer is nothing less than intentional," LaMarr said. "We believe that all the elements of attempted homicide were met."
LaMarr believes Officer Sheskey didn't follow proper operating procedures. He says Blake had no intention of hurting anyone and was just trying to get away from officers.
"We think that the 20-second video is very clear. We don't need a two-hour explanation for what our eyes can see," he said.
Jacob Blake's supporters say Tuesday's decision sets a dangerous precedent for not only Kenosha, but the entire country.
"If officers can justify shooting someone seven times in this circumstance, we have a lot of work to do and it is dangerous not only for Black and brown people, but for us all," LaMarr said.
"I have two African American sons and three grandsons," said Tanya McLean, executive director of Leaders of Kenosha. "I don't want them driving -- I have so much anxiety now about it."
Justin Blake said the family still wants Officer Rusten Sheskey to be fired. He said the shooting of his nephew speaks to a higher issue of systemic racism.
"At what point did he show a knife to attack this person and make him think that his life was in jeopardy?"
Justin Blake says their family has plans to sit down with lawmakers in Washington D.C.
"This needs to handled at the federal level, investigated at a federal level, taken to the Feds so we can change the laws, so we can live in peace," he said.
Ahead of his announcement to the public, Graveley called Jacob Blake to tell him of his decision. Justin Blake said his nephew is "disappointed" that the officer who left him paralyzed will face no criminal charges.
Blake's family held a news conference following the decision. Watch it here.