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Police Officer Who Shot Jacob Blake And Paralysed Him Is Back On Duty

by : Emily Brown on : 14 Apr 2021 07:38
Police Officer Who Shot Jacob Blake And Paralysed Him Is Back On DutyWisconsin Department of Justice/attorneycrump/Instagram

The Wisconsin police officer who shot Jacob Blake seven times last August has returned to duty after being cleared. 

Officer Rusten Sheskey, who is white, was with two other members of the Kenosha police department when they attempted to arrest Blake, who is Black, on an outstanding warrant in Wisconsin in August 2020.

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During a scuffle between the two parties, a pocketknife fell from Blake’s trousers. The 29-year-old said he picked it up before heading to an SUV where two of his children were waiting, saying he was prepared to surrender once he put the knife in the vehicle.

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As Blake approached the SUV, Sheskey opened fire, later claiming he shot the gun because he feared for his own safety. The incident left Blake paralysed from the waist down.

Following the shooting, Sheskey was put on administrative leave and investigated. District Attorney Michael Graveley announced in January that the officer would face no criminal charges, and he returned to duty on March 31 after being cleared.

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Graveley said he could not disprove the officer’s claims that he feared for his life when he shot Blake because the 29-year-old had a knife.

Wisconsin Department of JusticeWisconsin Department of Justice

Kenosha’s police chief, Daniel Miskinis, released a statement on Sheskey’s return to say he was found to have been acting within policy during the encounter with Blake, and that he will not be disciplined.

Per the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, he commented: ‘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.’

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On March 25, just days before Sheskey returned to work, Blake filed a federal civil rights lawsuit for damages against the officer, claiming his use of deadly force was excessive, violated Blake’s rights under the Fourth Amendment’s protections against unreasonable seizure, and was done with ‘malice, willfulness, and reckless indifference’ to Blake’s rights.

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One of Blake’s attorneys, Patrick Salvi Jr., expressed his dismay at Sheskey’s return to work without discipline, saying: ‘How can anyone say this is a desired result for a police encounter?’

Salvi said that it was ‘a very sad state of affairs’ if Kenosha police truly believe Sheskey did not break any internal policies or subvert from training, adding: ‘But that’s not true and we’ll prove it in our lawsuit.’

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Coming just months after the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Blake’s shooting sparked protests from Black Lives Matter demonstrators.

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Emily Brown

Emily Brown first began delivering important news stories aged just 13, when she launched her career with a paper round. She graduated with a BA Hons in English Language in the Media from Lancaster University, and went on to become a freelance writer and blogger. Emily contributed to The Sunday Times Travel Magazine and Student Problems before becoming a journalist at UNILAD, where she works on breaking news as well as longer form features.

Topics: News, Black Lives Matter, Jacob Blake, Kenosha, Now, Wisconsin

Credits

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
  1. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

    Kenosha officer who shot Jacob Blake in the back returns to full duty, won't face any discipline