No police officer will be charged more than four months after the African American Jacob Blake was shot in a police operation in Kenosha.

The responsible prosecutor Michael Graveley said on Tuesday with regard to the officers' right to self-defense.

The white policeman Rusten S. shot Blake seven times in the back during an operation on 23 August last year.

Blake, then 29, survived seriously injured and has been paralyzed ever since.

The shooting at Blake had sparked protests and rioting in Kenosha. 

Graveley said that under current law, especially the police officer's right to self-defense, a conviction in court would have been very unlikely.

He said that to be charged, he would have to refute the unequivocal statement of the police officers involved that they acted in self-defense.

In his opinion, it is not possible to rule out such self-defense.


The police officer S. feared during the operation that Blake would attack him with a knife and therefore shot.

The police had been called to the scene of a dispute and had also known that there was an existing arrest warrant against Blake.

Jacob Blake, right, with his cousin Adria-Joi Watkins

Source: AP / Adria-Joi Watkins

Serious protests and rioting broke out in the city in the state of Wisconsin after the shooting at Blake.

The case took place in an already heated political climate, because only about three months earlier the African American George Floyd had been killed in a brutal police operation in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Floyd's death sparked ongoing protests against police violence and racism across the country.

Soldiers should guarantee the right to safe protests

The city council of Kenosha agreed on Monday in the face of feared protests in advance of a temporary emergency declaration, which is now valid for eight days.

Governor Tony Evers said he had approved the sending of 500 members of the National Guard to Kenosha.

The soldiers will help to support local emergency services, ensure the right to safely protest and protect the infrastructure, as the governor said.