Kenosha Police Officer Rusten Sheskey has been cleared of wrongdoing in the shooting of Jacob Blake, who became a symbol following the death of George Floyd after Blake resisted arrest and was shot several times. Blake was rendered paralyzed following the shooting.
The shooting of Blake prompted widespread riots to erupt across the United States and Kenosha, Wisconsin, where he resided.
The riots included the deaths of three Antifa supporters who descended upon the city after they got involved in an altercation with a 17-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse, who was present at the location in apparent defence of local businesses.
While the trial of the former Minneapolis police officer who was seen kneeling on Floyd’s neck before he died, Derek Chauvin, is well underway, no charges have been filed against Sheskey. The Kenosha Police Department released the statement explaining their decision not to charge Sheskey with any wrongdoing.
“The Kenosha Police use of force incident on August 23, 2020 was investigated by an outside agency; has been reviewed by an independent expert as well as the Kenosha County District Attorney. Officer Sheskey was not charged with any wrongdoing,” said Police Chief Daniel Miskinis.
“He acted within the law and was consistent with training. This incident was also reviewed internally. Officer Sheskey was found to have been acting within policy and will not be subjected to discipline,” the statement added.
Kenosha police responded to a 911 call placed by Blake’s ex-girlfriend whom he had allegedly sexually assaulted and had visited in violation of a restraining order she had against him.
While viral videos showed only the conclusion of his altercation with police, in which he was shot several times in the back, a longer video showed that he had wrestled with two police officers for several minutes and resisted arrest. The shooting happened as he opened his vehicle and appeared to attempt to grab an object off the floor of his car. A knife was later found in Blake’s car.