AG Kaul Identifies Officer That Shot Blake
Shooting being investigated by state's Department of Criminal Investigation.
Blake’s shooting is being investigated by the Wisconsin Department of Justice’s Criminal Investigation Division (DCI). Per Wisconsin state law, a third party must investigate police shootings.
Kaul told reporters that Kenosha Police officers were called to the 2800 block of 40th street, where Blake was shot, after receiving a call from a woman saying her boyfriend had shown up and that he was not supposed to be there. Among them was Officer Rusten Sheskey, a seven-year veteran of the Kenosha Police Department. Sheskey shot Blake seven times.
Police attempted to arrest Blake, during which they used a taser, which Kaul said did not stop him. At this point, the details released by Kaul start to match the video of Blake’s shooting widely circulated on social media.
Blake walked around the vehicle, opened the driver’s side door and leaned in and Sheskey shot him in the back seven times.
Kaul said that Blake admitted to having a knife to DCI investigators. And a knife was recovered from the scene.
DCI is investigating the shooting with assistance from the FBI, the Wisconsin State Patrol and Kenosha County Sheriff’s Office. Kaul said DCI typically works to provide a report of the shooting to a prosecutor within 30 days.
Earlier Wednesday, Kenosha Police Chief Daniel Miskinis said all three officers involved in the incident have been placed on administrative leave.
When DCI finishes their investigation, they will hand off their information to District Attorney Michael Graveley’s office. Graveley said his office has a “narrow task,” that is to review the evidence in the case and determine whether crimes were committed by police that can be proven to a jury beyond a reasonable doubt.
In an effort to promote confidence in whatever decision Graveley’s office comes to, he said he has asked the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Wisconsin to also conduct a simultaneous civil rights investigation into the shooting of Blake, “that by law they are allowed to do.”
Kaul said the people of Kenosha deserve the opportunity to grieve. He said those committing arson or violence aren’t helping the community. “All they are doing is creating chaos.”
“The people who have been impacted, and particularly the people of Kenosha, are the ones who should be leading the way as people protest peacefully,” Kaul said.
Graveley said the community is experiencing a moment in history “that brings up some of the greatest issues of our time.”
“We have a community today that is literally on fire,” Graveley said. “Set on fire by the deep divisions that have been fueled by a number of forces that are brought to bear in this case.”
Kaul invited two community leaders to speak at the press conference. One of them was Anthony Davis, president of the Kenosha NAACP, who said Blake’s family needs time to heal.
On the investigation, Davis said, “The process, we know, is not going to be one that’s going to be quick.” He urged everyone to “have some patience” and said “we have to find a way to de-escalate what has been happening around here in our city.” He said, “The path that has been taken by some individuals has not been appreciated.”
James Hall, interim president and CEO of the Urban League of Racine and Kenosha, said “We can’t lose this moment. Right now, Kenosha is emotional. Right now the country is emotional. We cannot continue to meet force with force. Let the people be heard. Listen to the people. We don’t need all this aggression from either side, period.”
Hall said “The time for change is now.” And said that communities and the systems within them, be they schools or police departments, need to change.
“This eruption in our city is based on years and years and years of oppression,” he said. “What you see is a lot of pain, a lot of fear and a lot of trauma.”
Hall called on everyone to let the community heal, be emotional and express themselves.
“If Kenosha can make this change,” he said. “The entire country will follow.”
On The Double Murder Tuesday Night
Kaul also commented on the shooting late Wednesday night that left two men dead and a third wounded, saying what happened was “despicable.” Graveley said the DA’s office will have to decide by the end of the day tomorrow on what charges to file against the shooter, 17-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse and whether they need to keep him in custody.
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