Reaction to charging decision in Kenosha officer involved shooting

Government officials and others with local ties are issuing statements after District Attorney Michael Gravely’s announcement Tuesday that Kenosha Police Officer Rusten Sheskey will not face charges in the shooting of Jacob Blake last August.

Blake was shot by Sheskey during an attempted arrest. The shooting caused days of rioting in Kenosha.

U.S Rep Bryan Steil, whose district includes all of Kenosha County, said in a statement issued via email:

“The Wisconsin Department of Justice and the Kenosha County District Attorney have made their determination after a lengthy process. This has been a difficult period for Kenosha, but, when the riots ended, constructive dialogue began and must continue. We also need to continue supporting what is working and fixing what is wrong. I support everyone’s First Amendment rights to lawfully express their views on the decision, whether you agree with it or not. However, any form of criminal activity in Kenosha must not be tolerated,”

State Sen. Van Wanggaard and state Rep. Samantha Kerkman issued the following joint statement:

“Charging decisions are never easy and cannot be snap judgments. They must follow the process, and complete a review of all of the evidence about an entire situation, not a seven second video. In this case, we appreciate that the evidence was thoroughly reviewed by two outside entities without conflicts, and that the entirety of the evidence was considered before making this important decision. Having not reviewed the entirety of the evidence, we are unable to pass judgment on whether or not the charging decision was the right one. We hope that others will do the same. People have a right to peacefully protest the decision; we hope that’s what occurs. Kenosha cannot have a repeat of the August riots. We have been in contact with area officials and the Governor’s office, and are hopeful that the
resources are in place in overwhelming numbers to ensure the community and businesses are protected while allowing for individuals to practice their free speech rights.”

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