Wisconsin city braces for protest as charging decision looms

MADISON, WISCONSIN (AP) — A southeastern Wisconsin city braced for another round of protests as prosecutors prepared to announce whether they’ll charge a White police officer who shot a Black man in the back, leaving him paralysed.

Kenosha Police Officer Rusten Sheskey shot Jacob Blake seven times on August 23 as Blake was about to get into an SUV during a domestic dispute.

The police union has maintained Blake resisted arrest and was armed with a knife, although state investigators have said only that a knife was found on the floor of the vehicle. Blake’s three children were in the back seat of the SUV when he was shot.

The shooting sparked protests that went on for several nights. Some of them turned violent, with some protesters burning businesses and members of self-styled militias answering a call on social media to travel to the city.

Prosecutors have charged Kyle Rittenhouse of Antioch, Illinois, with shooting three people, killing two of them, with an assault-style weapon during one of the demonstrations. Rittenhouse, who is White, was 17 at the time of the shootings. Conservatives have rallied to Rittenhouse’s legal defence.

Kenosha County District Attorney Michael Graveley is expected any day to announce whether Sheskey will face criminal charges.

Supporters for Jacob Blake march in Kenosha, Wisconsin. PHOTO: AP