2021 starts without justice for Jacob Blake
It was announced on Jan. 5 that the Kenosha police officer that shot Black seven times will not be charged with a crime.
2020 was a traumatic year for the collective, but especially for the Black community. Not only have they dealt with health and income disparities during the pandemic, but police violence was brutal, unforgiving and with little to no justice served.
From George Floyd to Breonna Taylor to Walter Wallace Jr., it has been a year of rage and devastation.
In the first week of the new year, instead of breathing in hope, we are being suffocated once again with news that the justice system has failed to protect innocent Black people.
On Jan. 5, it was announced that the police officer involved in the shooting of Jacob Blake will not face any criminal charges.
On Aug. 23, Blake was struck by seven bullets at close range as he was walking away from Kenosha police officer Rusten Shesky. Blake’s three children were in the back seat of the car. Investigators have claimed there was a knife inside the vehicle, but his family has denied this.
The bullet wounds left Blake paralyzed from the waist down, according to his family.
Kenosha police officers do not wear body cameras, but a bystander was able to film the incident, showing Blake walking away and about to get into the driver’s side of his SUV when Shesky opened fire.
The decision to not charge Shesky comes five months after the video of the shooting sparked peaceful protests and violent demonstrations that resulted in the death of two people, teenager Kyle Rittenhouse facing a murder charge, and millions of Black Americans fearing that their child may become the next victim.
Blake’s family lawyer was Ben Crump, who also represented the family of police brutality victim, Trayvon Martin, in 2014.
Crump said that Kenosha County District Attorney Michael Gravely wrongfully denied the community its chance to try the facts at trial.
“We are immensely disappointed in Kenosha District Attorney Michael Gravely’s decision not to charge the officers involved in this horrific shooting,” Crump said in a statement. “We feel this decision failed not only Jacob and his family, but the community that protested and demanded justice.”
In response many took to Twitter, including Congressmen Mondaire Jones, to express their feelings on the matter.
“Now, we begin 2021 with a shameful reminder that our criminal legal system was not designed for people who look like Jacob Blake and me,” wrote Jones.