DOJ opens federal civil rights investigation into shooting of Jacob Blake
KENOSHA, Wis. - A federal investigation has been opened into the shooting of Jacob Blake by an officer of the Kenosha Police Department Sunday, Aug. 23, officials announced Wednesday evening, Aug. 26.
According to a news release from Matthew Krueger, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Wisconsin, the FBI will conduct the investigation in cooperation with the Wisconsin Department of Justice's Division of Criminal Investigation and other state authorities, and it will be overseen by prosecutors from the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the Criminal Section of the Civil Rights Division.
The federal investigation will run parallel to, and share information with, state authorities investigating the shooting to the extent permissible under law, Krueger said in the release, noting that "federal authorities are committed to investigating this matter as thoroughly and efficiently as possible."
Prosecutors, including Wisconsin Attorney General Kaul and Kenosha County District Attorney Michael Graveley, asked that community members "allow the investigation processes to develop all available evidence before rendering judgment." They also encouraged everyone to act peacefully and abide by the law, adding that "federal law enforcement is joined with state and local authorities to address further violence in Kenosha and beyond."
The release noted "federal law imposes stiff penalties for arson, rioting, firearms offenses and other violent crimes," and Krueger pledged to prosecute these crimes "to the fullest extent possible."
Officials asked anyone with firsthand information regarding the shooting of Blake to contact FBI Milwaukee at 414-276-4684.