Officer who shot and paralyzed Jacob Blake resumes duty

Francis Akhalbey April 14, 2021
Officer Rusten Sheskey shot Jacob Blake multiple times in the back last year. The Kenosha Police Department announced he has resumed duty and won't face any disciplinary action -- Left Photo Credit: Kenosha Police Department | Right screenshot via Twitter

Kenosha Police Chief Daniel Miskinis in a statement Tuesday announced the police officer who shot Jacob Blake multiple times has resumed duty after being placed on administrative leave. He also said he would not face any disciplinary action as investigations concluded he acted within department policy.

Rusten Sheskey shot Blake multiple times in the back while responding to a domestic disturbance incident at a Kenosha neighborhood on August 23 last year. The incident, which left the African-American father paralyzed from the waist down, triggered days of curfew-defying protests in the city that escalated to violence, looting and destruction of property. Two protesters were also fatally shot by the-then 17-year-old White vigilante Kyle Rittenhouse during an altercation.

The Kenosha Police Department, however, affirm Officer Sheskey’s use of force did not violate its policy, adding that the case was also investigated by an independent expert as well as the Kenosha County District Attorney.

“He acted within the law and was consistent with training,” Miskinis said in the statement. “This incident was also reviewed internally. Officer Sheskey was found to have been acting within policy and will not be subjected to discipline.”

Miskinis also confirmed Sheskey has since resumed duty after investigations concluded. “As of March 31, 2021, Officer Sheskey has returned from administrative leave,” Miskinis said. “Although the incident has been reviewed at multiple levels, I know that some will not be pleased with the outcome; however, given the facts, the only lawful and appropriate decision was made.”

In March, Blake filed an excessive force lawsuit against Sheskey in a federal court. The recent announcement by the city’s police department comes after Kenosha County District Attorney Michael Graveley said his office will not bring criminal charges against Sheskey.

Speaking to the press in January, Graveley said Sheskey and the other officers who were at the scene of the incident would have had a strong case for self-defense had authorities decided to officially press charges against them, NBC News reported.

“If you don’t believe you can prove a case beyond a reasonable doubt, you have an ethical obligation not to issue charges,” Graveley said.

What happened?

The August 23 incident unfolded after officers responded to a domestic disturbance incident at a neighborhood in Kenosha.

Per footage of the incident that was captured by a witness, Blake was seen walking to his car when Sheskey – who was following him with his gun drawn – dragged him by his tank top before shooting him several times in the back when he opened the driver’s side of the vehicle. The shooting allegedly preceded Sheskey and one of his colleague’s unsuccessful attempts at using tasers to try and restrain Blake, according to authorities. Blake’s children were in the back seat of the car at the time of the shooting.

Last Edited by:Mildred Europa Taylor Updated: April 14, 2021


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