(WFRV) – The Justice Department announced Friday it will not pursue federal criminal civil rights charges against a Kenosha Police Department (KPD) officer for his involvement in the shooting of 30-year-old Jacob Blake, which happened on Aug. 23, 2020.
According to a release, officials from the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Wisconsin have already let the representatives of the Blake family know their decision.
Why did they choose to not persue?
Department officials say they made this decision because the evidence obtained is, what they describe as, insufficient to prove that the KPD officer willfully used excessive force.
The release says a team of experienced federal prosecutors from the Civil Rights Division and the U.S. Attorney’s Office reviewed FBI and state investigator evidence to determine whether the police officer violated any federal laws. They say the team focused on the application of deprivation of rights under color of law and a federal criminal civil rights statute that prohibits certain types of official misconduct.
Furthermore, officials say the team conducted a detailed and lengthy analysis of materials, including:
- Police reports
- Law enforcement accounts
- Witness statements
- Affidavits of witnesses
- Dispatch logs
- Physical evidence reports
- Photographs, and videos of some portions of the incident
After a careful and thorough review of these materials, officials explain that the team of experienced federal prosecutors determined that insufficient evidence exists to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the KPD officer willfully violated the federal criminal civil rights statutes.
The review has been closed without federal prosecution.