Jacob Blake police shooting investigation taps former Wisconsin police chief to review findings

ByABC7 Chicago Digital team WLS logo
Tuesday, September 22, 2020
Former Wisconsin police chief to review Jacob Blake shooting
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Wisconsin's attorney general announced he has selected a former Madison police chief to serve as an independent consultant.

KENOSHA, Wis. (WLS) -- State and local investigators gave an update on the investigation into the police shooting of Jacob Blake.

Officials said the investigation is in its final stages and the investigative file has not yet been turned over to the Kenosha police chief. No charging decisions have yet been made, officials said Monday.

A federal investigation into the shooting has also been announced but officials said it is separate from the investigation they discussed Monday evening, and said they did not have information on that.

Wisconsin's attorney general announced he has selected a former Madison police chief to serve as an independent consultant for prosecutors weighing whether to file charges against the officer who shot Blake.

RELATED: Jacob Blake talks in new video from hospital bed: 'It hurts to breathe'

Noble Wray, the expert who will review the file, is Black. Following his retirement as Madison's chief in 2013, Wray has become a national leader in working on police reform, fighting racism and educating about implicit bias. Wray was chief for nine years and worked 30 years as a police officer, experience that Attorney General Josh Kaul and Kenosha County District Attorney Michael Gravely said would be crucial when reviewing the file.

Gravely said he requested the consultant but that he asked the Department of Justice to choose.

Kaul said his department's investigation of the shooting is in its final stages. When it's done, he will turn it over to Wray for review and an analysis. It will then be up to Gravely about whether to file charges. Gravely said Monday that he had not made any decision about filing charges yet.

RELATED: Jacob Blake shot by police in front of his 3 kids, family says

Gravely said Wray would bring "diverse" and "abundant" perspectives to the case.

Wray said he will provide insight and perspective to the case but not prejudge it. Wray said he will complete his review as quickly as possible, but he has not been given a timeline once he receives the investigative file.

"I have not prejudged the case," Wray said.

Blake was shot seven times in the back by Kenosha police officer on August 23.

The officer, Rusten Sheskey, shot Blake after Blake opened an SUV's driver-side door and leaned into the vehicle. Three of Blake's children were in the back seat. The shooting was captured on video and circulated quickly online, fueling protests hours later.

He remains paralyzed at a hospital in Milwaukee.

The shooting led to several nights of violent protests, including a fatal shooting that killed two people and wounded another. Kyle Rittenhouse, a teenager from Illinois, has been charged in the shooting.

Three Kenosha police officers remain suspended as Blake's shooting is investigated by the Wisconsin Department of Justice.

RELATED: Jacob Blake's family holds day of service as President Trump visits Kenosha

The Associated Press contributed to this report.