A white police officer from Wisconsin who was investigated and cleared for shooting and injuring a Black man during a domestic dispute has returned from administrative leave, officials 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 seven times while Blake was about to get into an SUV.
Kenosha Police Chief Daniel Miskinis said in a release that Sheskey returned to duty on March 31. The release said Sheskey was found to have been acting within policy and will not be disciplined.
“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.
Blake last month filed a civil lawsuit accusing the officer of excessive force.