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Demonstrators march during a protest in New York City over the shooting of Jacob Blake by police in Kenosha, Wis., Aug. 24, 2020. Photo: Timothy A. Clary/AFP via Getty

Police officers involved in the shooting of Jacob Blake will not face criminal charges, Kenosha County District Attorney Michael Gravely announced Tuesday.

The big picture: Kenosha was the center of protests, some violent, after officer Rusten Sheskey shot and wounded Blake, a Black man, on Aug. 23. The U.S. saw mass protests over police brutality and racism throughout the summer, set off by George Floyd's killing in Minneapolis.

Our thought bubble, via Axios' Russell Contreras: The lack of charges in the Blake shooting highlights the protections enjoyed by police, which critics say allows officers to abuse and terrorize communities of color. The Black Lives Matter movement seeks to abolish those protections and hold police more accountable for excessive force, but police unions are resisting changes.

Flashback: Cellphone footage from the August incident shows Sheskey, a white law enforcement officer, shooting Blake seven times in the back as Blake entered a vehicle with his children in the back. The shooting left Blake paralyzed.

  • The unrest that followed led to more than 250 arrests, including 17-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse, an armed counterprotester who on Tuesday pleaded not guilty to charges related to the fatal shootings of two people, AP reports.

What they're saying: "This isn't the news we hoped for, but our work is not done and hope is not lost," Ben Crump, attorney for the Blake family, tweeted Tuesday. "We must broaden the fight for justice on behalf of Jacob Blake and the countless other Black victims of racial injustice and police brutality."

What to watch: Kenosha is bracing for another wave of demonstrations following Gravely's announcement, with business owners boarding up their places of work as concrete barriers and metal fences are set up around the Kenosha County Courthouse, per AP.

  • Gov. Tony Evers activated 500 National Guard troops to help respond to possible protests.
  • The Common Council unanimously voted to give the mayor of Kenosha power to impose curfews, among others, on Monday night.

Go deeper

Black Lives Matter movement nominated for 2021 Nobel Peace Prize

Protestors take part in a Black Lives Matter march outside the Parliament building in Oslo, Norway in solidarity with U.S. protests over the death of George Floyd. Photo by Stian Lysberg Solum/AFP via Getty Images

The Black Lives Matter movement has been nominated for the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize for compelling countries around the world to address systemic racism.

Why it matters: The BLM movement launched in 2013 following George Zimmerman's acquittal for shooting Trayvon Martin, an unarmed Black teenager. The case kickstarted the international movement to address the controversial deaths of Black people, particularly at the hands of police.

Tim Scott hopes to reintroduce version of GOP police reform bill

Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) told reporters Wednesday he plans to reintroduce his police reform bill or a similar proposal in the coming weeks and that he has discussed a potential compromise with Rep. Karen Bass (D-Calif.) and Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.).

Why it matters: Eyes have again turned to Washington to take steps to address police reform in the wake of Derek Chauvin's guilty verdict Tuesday, after efforts stalled in Congress last year.

Biden announces small business tax credits for vaccine PTO

Photo: Doug Mills/The New York Times/Bloomberg via Getty Images

President Biden on Wednesday called on all employers to provide workers paid time off to get vaccinated or recover from COVID side effects, and said he'll include a paid tax credit for small businesses that do so.

Why it matters: The Biden administration sees workplaces as highly influential in making shots more convenient for working adults who are in high-risk industries.

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