/  04.27.2021

The uncle of Jacob Blake — the Black man who was left paralyzed from the waist down after being shot in the back by a Kenosha officer — was arrested during a demonstration over the cop’s return to active duty.

On Sunday (April 25), protesters gathered in Wisconsin to call for Officer Rusten Sheskey’s termination, who returned to the force after months on administrative leave. According to the Kenosha County Sheriff’s Department, three of the demonstrators, including Blake’s uncle Justin Blake, were arrested and booked at the Kenosha County Jail for “disorderly conduct.” They’ve since been released from custody after posting bond.

After shooting Blake in the back several times in August, Sheskey was placed on paid leave. In January, Kenosha County District Attorney Michael Graveley announced that no charges would be filed against him, explaining that he appeared to act in “self-defense.” Weeks later, Officers Brittany Meronek and Vincent Arenas — the two cops present during the horrific shooting — returned to work after serving several months of administrative leave. At the time, Sheskey was still off duty “pending the findings of a Kenosha Police use of deadly force review board,” but now, he’s resumed working as well.

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 wrong doing,” read a statement from Kenosha 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.”

“As of March 31, 2021, Officer Sheskey has returned from administrative leave,” the statement continued. “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.”

Though Sheskey managed to walk from any charges and make his way back to work, the cop isn’t completely off the hook. In March, Blake filed a federal lawsuit against him. He is seeking unspecified damages for the injuries he sustained during the shooting, including his severed spinal cord which resulted in him being paralyzed from the waist down. 


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