Wisconsin Officer Who Shot Jacob Blake Back on The Job Following Investigation

Rusten Sheskey, the police officer who shot Jacob Blake seven times in the back last August, was back on active duty at the Kenosha Police Department on March 31. Chief Daniel Miskinis stated that internal and external reviews of Sheskey’s actions found he acted within the law.

What We Know:

  • A two-paragraph statement was released on the department’s Twitter this Tuesday. Miskinis said that Sheskey’s actions were consistent with training. Miskinis also acknowledged that Sheskey’s return would upset many people.

“Although this 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,” wrote Miskinis.

  • Sheskey had been on paid administrative leave since August. Miniski did not address Sheskey’s assignment or whether he would be back on patrol in the announcement.
  • Justin Blake, Jacob’s uncle, says the family is outraged. They believe that racism was a motivating factor in his return. Additionally, Justin feels it is an attempt to harm the African-American community further.

“You think it’s okay to put a police officer back in harm’s way of our children, of our seniors, it’s unconscionable,” he told WDJT.

  • Jacob announced at the end of last month he would file a federal civil rights lawsuit against Sheskey. He is claiming that Sheskey used excessive force during the dispute. On August 23 of last year, Jacob was at Laquisha Booker’s house, the mother of three of his children, for his son Israel’s eighth birthday.  A fight between Booker and a neighbor broke out, and Jacob intervened to stop it. Booker called the police and said he was not releasing the keys to her rental car. He was preparing to leave with two of his sons.
  • ABC News explains officers were alerted by the dispatcher of a warrant for Jacob’s arrest on charges of trespassing, disorderly conduct, and third-degree sexual assault, but the latter was dropped.  When police entered, they tried arresting him. He struggled and apparently reached for his waistline, making the police think he was reaching for a weapon. This led to Sheskey tasing him multiple times. A viral video shows Jacob walking away and entering a gray van. While he was entering the vehicle, Sheskey fired at Jacob.
  • The encounter with Sheskey left Jacob paralyzed from the waist down. The policeman informed investigators he was afraid Blake was trying to kidnap a child in the backseat of his vehicle. CNN reports more on the situation and what led up to the firing. Sheskey’s attorney Brendan Matthews says the officer overheard a woman saying Jacob had her keys and child. Because of this, he used deadly force on Blake. However, the children in the car were his.
  • Officers later found a knife on the vehicle’s floorboard. Matthews also added the victim twisted his body toward the officer as if he were going to strike Sheskey. According to Kenosha District Attorney Mike Graveley, Jacob refused orders to drop the knife. Jacob told Michael Strahan the knife fell out of his pocket after Shesky tased him. He was going to the car to put the knife down and surrender when he was shot. Once Sheskey ceased firing, he delivered first aid once Jacob dropped the weapon.
  • This is not the first upset in Blake’s situation. In January, Graveley declined to file charges against Sheskey. He cited that Sheskey was only acting in self-defense. Graveley chose after a review of more than 40 hours of squad video and more than 200 reports totaling over 1,500 pages.

Sheskey’s reinstatement comes at a time where advocates seek justice for police brutality victims. Currently, former Minneapolis policeman Derek Chauvin is on trial for George Floyd’s death last May. This week alone, Brooklyn Center Police Officer Kimberly Potter and Chief Tim Gannon resigned after Potter allegedly accidentally shot and killed 20-year-old Daunte Wright. The United States is becoming restless with these occurrences and intends on making sure they end soon.

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