Kenosha Officer Rusten Sheskey Returns to Duty After Facing No Disciplinary Charges in Jacob Blake Shooting

Kenosha Officer Rusty Sheskey
Wisconsin Department of Justice

On Tuesday Kenosha Police Chief Daniel Miskinis issued a press release on Twitter stating that Sheskey was “not charged with any wrong doing.”

Rusten Sheskey, the Kenosha officer who shot Jacob Blake, has returned to regular duty and will not face discipline after Kenosha Wisconsin police said he “acted within the law department police,” NPR reported. 

District Attorney Michael Graveley announced in January that Sheskey would not face any criminal charges in the Aug. 23 incident that left 30-year-old Jacob Blake, a Black man, partially paralyzed from the waist down, USA Today reported. 

On Tuesday Kenosha Police Chief Daniel Miskinis issued a press release on Twitter stating that Sheskey was “not charged with any wrong doing.”

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

Sheskey returned from administrative leave on March 31.

Miskinis said the use-of-force incident Sheskey used on Aug. 23, 2020, had been investigated by an outside agency. He said it was also reviewed by independent experts and the Kenosha County District Attorney's Office, according to the statement. 

In August 2020, Sheskey fired seven shots at close range at Blake's back as he walked away from the officer and toward a parked vehicle where two of his young children were sitting. Six of those shots struck Blake, who was left paralyzed. The shooting touched off major protests in the Wisconsin city, NPR reported 

An investigation by the state Department of Justice found Blake was armed with a knife in the moments that led up to the shooting. Graveley said he could not disprove Sheskey's claim that he feared for his life when he fired seven shots at Blake.

“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 the onnly lawful and appropriate decision was made,” Miskinis said.

Patrick Salvi, Jr., one of Blake’s attorneys, said that Sheskey returning to full-day without discipline was surprising, and called it a “very sad state of affairs, if Kenosha police truly believe Sheskey acted in accordance with police and training,” according to USA Today.

“But that’s not true and we’ll prove it in our lawsuit,” Salvi said 

On March 25, Blake filed a federal civil rights lawsuit for damages against Sheskey. Blake claims Sheskey's 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, USA Today reported.