Decision pending on whether to charge officer for shooting Jacob Blake

KENOSHA, Wisc. (WTMJ/CNN) – The mayor and police chief of Kenosha, Wisconsin are calling for calm ahead of the decision on whether the officer who shot Jacob Blake will be charged.

Blake was shot in the back seven times by an officer in August. He was partially paralyzed.

As the city of Kenosha waits for a charging decision in the shooting investigation, the city’s mayor and police chief wrote an op-ed for the local newspaper. They said they don’t know when that decision will come down but, when it does, they are “prepared for it.”

In a city that has seen heartbreak and destruction after the August 23rd shooting of Blake, Kenosha also witnessed community members coming together, calling for change and asking for peace.

Just days after the shooting, Joe Biden, now president-elect, spoke to local activists at Grace Lutheran Church.

The church’s reverend, Jonathan Barker, said he knows a lot of people in Kenosha are still hurting and he is praying for the district attorney’s decision to bring justice. “I hope we can get justice for Jacob Blake,” he said. “I hope we can continue to get justice for our Black and brown communities around police reform.”

Kenosha’s district attorney has yet to announce if Officer Rusten Sheskey will face any charges.

In Sunday’s edition of The Kenosha News, the city’s mayor and police chief authored an op-ed. It reads in part: “Regardless of the decision, people will have differing opinions and strong emotions about it. That is everyone’s right. Whether you agree or disagree, we ask that you express your opinions peacefully and lawfully. We will not – we cannot – tolerate the kind of violence we saw on our streets earlier this year and we will take definitive steps to protect our residents and businesses.”

Reverend Barker, like most people in Kenosha, says he is anxiously awaiting the D.A.’s decision. He said “If we don’t get justice, our community, where you’re standing here in uptown is going to be incredibly hurt.”

The district attorney did not return a phone call from WTMJ.

The city’s mayor and police chief both declined interviews.

In that op-ed, they continued to write that since early summer they have been working with different organizations on a course for Kenosha. They said they are doing a good job in many areas but are working toward continued improvement.

The op-ed concluded by saying they are working to build a better Kenosha for everyone.

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