The Wisconsin Department of Justice has spent more than 600 hours working on the Jacob Blake shooting investigation, according to the agency.
The DOJ’s Department of Criminal Investigations is the outside agency investigating Blake’s shooting Aug. 23 by Kenosha Police Officer Rusten Sheskey while officers were attempting to arrest Blake during a call about a domestic incident. Blake was critically injured and remains hospitalized.
The shooting, captured on video, was the catalyst for continuing protests in the city. In the first two days of the protests, looting broke out in some areas of the city, especially downtown and Uptown, with arson fires destroying businesses and city vehicles.
A call for militias to come to the city followed. One of those self-styled militia members, 17-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse of Antioch, Ill., is charged with homicide for killing two people and injuring another.
Since Aug. 26, protests have been largely peaceful.
According to a statement from the DOJ, investigators for the Department of Criminal Investigations, along with the FBI, have done 88 witness interviews, collected 102 pieces of evidence, reviewed 28 videos and issued four search warrants.
Sheskey and two other officers that were at the scene are on administrative leave while the investigation is underway.
Brendan Matthews, a lawyer representing the Kenosha Police union, put out a statement last week saying Blake “forcefully fought” officers prior to the shooting and said he was armed with a knife.
Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul put out a statement saying the department would not directly address statements from the union’s lawyer.
“The Wisconsin Department of Justice is conducting a fair, impartial, and independent investigation into the shooting of Jacob S. Blake,” Kaul state. “The lawyer who issued this statement represents both the Kenosha Professional Police Association and certain officers involved in the incident. We neither confirm nor deny any conclusions he believes can be drawn based on his representation of those officers and the KPPA.”
The DOJ aims to submit its report to Kenosha District Attorney Michael Graveley within 30 days of the incident. The prosecutor will then make a decision on whether criminal charges should be filed.
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