His decision not to prosecute the police officer who in August 2020 seriously injured African-American Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin, announced the US Department of Justice.
“The ministry made this decision because the evidence gathered is not enough to prove that the police officer used excessive force.”, the announcement said.
On August 23, 2020, Jacob Blake was shot several times in the back in front of his three sons as police tried to arrest him.
Video of the incident, posted on the internet, rekindled anti-police and anti-racism protests three months after the death of George Floyd during his violent arrest by white police in Minneapolis.
Protests over Blake’s shooting sparked riots in Kenosa, and on Aug. 25, a 17-year-old man linked to a self-defense militia fired three semi-automatic rifles at three protesters, killing two people.
The case had also led to a strong mobilization in the world of sports, with the postponement of specific NBA games.
In January 2021, the state of Wisconsin’s justice had already decided not to prosecute the police officers involved. Local prosecutor Michael Gravelley had estimated that the police officer who shot Blake was in self-defense because the latter “resisted with a knife” in his arrest.
The U.S. government said at the time that the FBI was investigating whether Blake’s political rights had been violated.
Officers analyzed several documents, including “police reports, witness statements, photographs, videos…”.
But finally, “Senior federal prosecutors have concluded that there was insufficient evidence to establish beyond a reasonable doubt that the police officer intentionally violated civil rights” of Blake, according to the Department of Justice.