Apr 13, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Officer who shot Jacob Blake back on duty, won't face discipline, chief says

A Protester holds sign of "Jacob Blake" picture outside Hennepin County Government Plaza during a demonstration against police brutality and racism

A protester holds sign outside during a demonstration against police brutality and racism in August 2020. Photo: Kerem Yucel / AFP via Getty Images

Rusten Sheskey, the police officer who shot Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin, last year, is back on duty and won't face disciplinary action, Kenosha Police Chief Daniel Miskinis said Tuesday.

The big picture: Kenosha was at the center of protests against police brutality after Sheskey, a white law enforcement officer, shot and wounded Blake, a Black man, on Aug. 23, 2020. Kenosha County District Attorney Michael Graveley announced in January that the officers involved in last summer's incident would not face charges.

Flashback: Cellphone footage shows Sheskey shooting Blake several times at close range in the back as Blake entered a vehicle with his children inside. The shooting left Blake paralyzed.

What he's saying: "Officer Sheskey was not charged with any wrong doing. He acted within the law and was consistent with training," Miskinis said in a statement Tuesday, citing an outside agency investigation and the decision by the Kenosha County district attorney.

  • "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," he added.
  • Miskinis said Sheskey had returned from administrative leave as of March 31.

Following the district attorney's decision not to file charges, Ben Crump, a Blake family lawyer, said the move "failed not only Jacob and his family, but the community that protested and demanded justice."

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