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Former Wisconsin police chief to review Jacob Blake shooting

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin’s attorney general announced Monday that he has selected a former Madison police chief to serve as an independent consultant for prosecutors weighing whether to file charges against the officer who shot Jacob Blake, a Black man who was left paralyzed from the waist down.

The shooting of Blake on Aug. 23 by a white Kenosha police officer made Wisconsin the epicenter of the nation’s ongoing debate over police violence and racial injustice. It came three months after the death of George Floyd in the custody of Minneapolis police.

Noble Wray, the expert who will review the file, is Black. Following his retirement as Madison’s chief in 2013, Wray has become a national leader in working on police reform, fighting racism and educating about implicit bias. Wray was chief for nine years and worked 30 years as a police officer, experience that Attorney General Josh Kaul and Kenosha County District Attorney Michael Gravely said would be crucial when reviewing the file.

Gravely said he requested the consultant but that he asked the Department of Justice to choose.

Kaul said his department’s investigation of the shooting is in its final stages. When it’s done, he will turn it over to Wray for review and an analysis. It will then be up to Gravely about whether to file charges. Gravely said Monday that he had not made any decision about filing charges yet.

Gravely said Wray would bring “diverse” and “abundant” perspectives to the case.

Wray said he will provide insight and perspective to the case but not prejudge it. Wray said he will complete his review as quickly as possible, but he has not been given a timeline once he receives the investigative file.

“I have not prejudged the case,” Wray said.

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