Kenosha police officer who shot armed Jacob Blake returns to work, won’t face discipline

Kenosha Officer Rusten Sheskey returned to duty on March 31.

The Kenosha police officer who shot an armed Black man in the back seven times during a domestic dispute last summer and was cleared of any wrongdoing has returned from administrative leave, police said Tuesday.

Kenosha Officer Rusten Sheskey was not charged in the August 2020 incident that left Jacob Blake Jr. paralyzed from the waist down. Sheskey shot Blake as he was about to get into an SUV.

Kenosha Officer Rusten Sheskey, left, and Jacob Blake. 

Kenosha Officer Rusten Sheskey, left, and Jacob Blake.  (AP)

Kenosha Police Chief Daniel Miskinis said the shooting was investigated by an outside agency and has been reviewed by an independent expert as well as the Kenosha County District Attorney.

Kenosha Police Chief Daniel Miskinis said Sheskey returned to duty on March 31. The release said Sheskey was found to have been acting within policy and will not be disciplined.

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"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," Miskinis said in the statement.

Sheskey and two other Kenosha officers were trying to arrest Blake on an outstanding warrant when a pocketknife fell from his pants during a scuffle. Blake said he picked it up before heading to a vehicle to drive away with two of his children in the back seat. He said he was prepared to surrender once he put the knife in the vehicle.

Sheskey told investigators that he feared for his own safety so he opened fire. The shooting happened three months after George Floyd died while being restrained by police officers in Minneapolis.

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Blake last month filed a civil lawsuit accusing the officer of excessive force.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.