According to the Department of Justice, prosecutors from the US Attorney’s Office and the Civil Rights Division will oversee the proceedings, with the investigation carried out by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and involving Wisconsin’s justice department, among other local authorities.
“Federal authorities are committed to investigating this matter as thoroughly and efficiently as possible,” the DOJ stated, adding that it “urged all members of the [local] community to allow the investigation processes.”
Addressing the days of unrest in Kenosha that followed Blake’s shooting – including serious arson and the deaths of two people during protests – federal and state authorities appealed to “everyone to act peacefully and abide by the law,” and warned of “stiff penalties for arson, rioting, firearms offenses, and other violent crimes.”
Blake, an African-American man, was shot seven times in the back by police in front of his three children on Sunday. He survived the wounds, but his family later confirmed that he is now paralyzed from the waist down.
On Wednesday, 17-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse was arrested and charged with first-degree murder over the shooting of three protesters amid the riots in Kenosha. Two of the three men died from their injuries.