Protesters gather in Kenosha on Jan 4, 2021, leading up to an announcement that a police officer would not be charged in the August 2020 shooting of Jacob Blake. (Photo | Isiah Holmes)
The Kenosha police officer who shot Jacob Blake seven times in the back last August has returned to work from administrative leave, according to a news release.
Rusten Sheskey was cleared of criminal wrongdoing by the Kenosha County District Attorney and, according to the release, an internal investigation found he did not violate Kenosha Police Department policy during the incident in which Blake was left paralyzed from the waist down. The release states Sheskey has been back at work since March 31.
Media Release pic.twitter.com/wdq5QaNNyk
— Kenosha Police Dept. (@KenoshaPolice) April 13, 2021
“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,” Kenosha police chief Daniel Miskinis said in a statement.
The Kenosha police department’s use of force policy states that “excessive and unwarranted force or brutality will not be tolerated,” and that use of deadly force should be a last resort, but gives officers flexibility to determine what type of force can be used.
A federal civil lawsuit filed against Sheskey is still pending.
The Blake shooting drew international attention last summer after video of the shooting went viral. The shooting followed a series of other high profile incidents of police violence, including the deaths of George Floyd in Minneapolis and Breonna Taylor in Louisville, Ky.
Following the Blake shooting, mass protests began in Kenosha that occasionally resulted in violence, property damage and clashes between police and protesters. Kyle Rittenhouse, an Illinois teenager, is facing multiple homicide charges after shooting and killing two protesters.
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