Kenosha police officer who shot Jacob Blake returns to active duty

Officer Rusten Sheskey
Officer Rusten Sheskey, on Oct. 6, 2014.
From Kenosha Police Department/Facebook

KENOSHA, Wis. — The Kenosha police officer who shot Jacob Blake in an incident last August that sparked protests across the country is back on active duty, the department announced Tuesday.

In a media release posted on the department’s Facebook page, Chief Daniel Miskinis said Officer Rusten Sheskey returned from administrative leave as of March 31st and will not be disciplined for the shooting.

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

The Kenosha County District Attorney announced in January that Sheskey would not face criminal charges for the shooting, which left Blake paralyzed from the waist down.

The Wisconsin Department of Justice says their investigation found officers tried to use Tasers on Blake in an effort to stop him before Sheskey held on to Blake’s shirt as Blake started to reach inside his car and shot him a total of seven times — four times in the back and three times in the side. Sheskey told investigators he saw a knife and claimed he kept shooting until Blake dropped it.

The DOJ’s Division of Criminal Investigation says it interviewed 88 witnesses, reviewed 28 videos, issued four search warrants, collected 102 pieces of evidence and put more than 600 hours into the investigation. All of the records are available to the public on the DOJ’s website.

“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,” Chief Miskinis wrote.

Sheskey was previously involved in five other internal investigations during his seven-year career with the Kenosha Police Department before the Blake shooting. Last month, Blake filed an excessive force civil lawsuit against Sheskey, seeking an unspecified amount of damages.