Officer Rusten Sheskey. Photo courtesy of the Kenosha Police Department. Composite image by Joshua Skovlund/Coffee or Die Magazine.
Kenosha Police Chief Daniel Miskinis announced Tuesday that all investigations into Officer Rusten Sheskey’s shooting of Jacob Blake on Aug. 23, 2020, are concluded and he has returned to duty as of March 31. Sheskey acted within policy, according to the review of the incident by the Kenosha Police Department, an outside agency, the Kenosha County district attorney, and an independent expert, according to a media release from KPD.
“Officer Sheskey was not charged with any wrong doing. He acted within the law and was consistent with training,” reads Miskinis’ statement. “Officer Sheskey was found to have been acting within policy and will not be subjected to discipline.”
Sheskey and his partner, Officer Vincent Arenas, responded to a domestic disturbance call and ended up in a physical altercation with Blake. Blake was able to break free from the officers and at some point brandished a knife as he walked around the front of the silver SUV seen in the viral video. When Blake attempted to climb into the vehicle, Sheskey grabbed hold of his shirt and, shortly after, fired seven shots directly into Blake.
The shooting left Blake partially paralyzed and rekindled protests and riots throughout the country that had started up following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody. Multiple state National Guard units were activated to help quell the unrest, while authorities encouraged peaceful protests in response to the instances of police using force to effect an arrest.
Joshua Skovlund is a former staff writer for Coffee or Die. He has covered the 75th anniversary of D-Day in France, multinational military exercises in Germany, and civil unrest during the 2020 riots in Minneapolis. Born and raised in small-town South Dakota, he grew up playing football and soccer before serving as a forward observer in the US Army. After leaving the service, he worked as a personal trainer while earning his paramedic license. After five years as in paramedicine, he transitioned to a career in multimedia journalism. Joshua is married with two children. His creative outlets include Skovlund Photography and Concentrated Emotion.
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