As part of the ongoing investigation into the police shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin last month, the Kenosha County District Attorney’s Office has requested that an independent consultant review investigative files and to provide an assessment of the incident prior to a decision being made on whether charges will be filed in the case.
The announcement was made Monday at a press conference in Wisconsin. According to Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul, Kenosha County DA Michael Graveley made the request for an independent consultant to review the case, which sparked protests, looting and unrest in Kenosha last month.
“To make sure there is no question about the independence and objectivity of this consultant, DA Graveley has asked me to select a consultant,” Kaul said during a press conference Monday.
Kaul announced that the consultant is being brought in as the Wisconsin Department of Criminal Investigations moves through the “final stages” of its investigation of the shooting.
The Wisconsin Department of Justice will provide the investigative file in the case to retired Madison Police Chief Noble Wray, according to a press release. Wray will “review the file and preparation of his analysis,” and his analysis will be used to assist the district attorney in his review of the case, according to DOJ officials.
“Noble Wray is a long-time Wisconsin resident and a widely respected retired Madison police chief who has extensive experience in law enforcement, including experience at the national level as a police reform specialist for the US Department of Justice,” Kaul said in a statement.
According to Kenosha police, officers were attempting arrest 29-year-old Jacob Blake on Aug. 23, following calls from a woman saying her boyfriend was at a residence and was not supposed to be on the premises.
Officers say they attempted to use a taser to subdue Blake during the incident, but the device failed to stop him. Blake is then seen on video walking around his vehicle and then opening his driver’s side door. As he leaned into the vehicle, video shows Kenosha Officer Rusten Sheskey firing his service weapon seven times, striking Blake.
Blake was rushed to an area hospital after the incident, which set off a wave of protests and unrest in the city of Kenosha.
The investigation into the shooting was referred to the Wisconsin DOJ’s Department of Criminal Investigations, as is protocol in police shootings. A decision on whether charges will be filed rests with prosecutors after the DCI completes its investigation.
Officials have also requested that a federal civil rights probe be opened by the US Department of Justice, and that probe is continuing concurrently with the state investigation.