The Police Officer Who Shot Jacob Blake Won't Be Disciplined — But You Already Knew That, Didn't You?

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Jacob Blake protest

Officer Rusten Sheskey, the Kenosha, Wisconsin, police officer who shot Jacob Blake in the back in 2020, won’t be facing any discipline according to his department.

Blake was left paralyzed from the waist down after the shooting which prompted widespread protests and outrage in Kenosha County last August.

In the aftermath of the event, two protestors were shot dead and another was seriously injured by Kyle Rittenhouse, a teenager who considered himself to be a militia member acting in support of the police.

Despite the high stakes of this case with regard to the Black Lives Matter movement, police declared that Sheskey acted in accordance with police policy.

Sheskey returned to the force from administrative leave in March following internal and external reviews of his actions.

"He acted with the law and consistent with training," Chief Daniel Miskinis said in a statement released on Twitter. "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."

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What happened to Jacob Blake?

Blake was shot in the back several times by Sheskey after police were called to a domestic dispute involving Blake’s children and their mother.

After a scuffle with the police, Blake attempted to return to the vehicle that his children were sitting in when Sheskey grabbed him as he was reaching into the car door which contained a knife.

Sheskey fired his gun seven times with four of the shots hitting Blake in the back. The officer allegedly believed Blake was attempting to kidnap the children and flee the scene.

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White police officers who shoot Black people continue to go unprosecuted.

Sheskey joins the long list of police officers who return to the force without being reprimanded after taking or drastically changing Black lives.

Blake was paralyzed from the waist down and had most of his small intestine and colon removed.

While Sheskey walked free after shooting Blake, Blake attended court proceedings for his own prosecution via Zoom from his hospital bed. He was sentenced to two years probation.

The decision not to discipline Sheskey comes at a particularly crucial time as Derek Chauvin faces trial for the murder of George Floyd who passed away mere months before Blake was shot.

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While we all wait to hear if police officers like Sheskey and Chauvin will face consequences for their actions, more Black lives are claimed by the police.

Sheskey’s return to the force also coincides with the death of Daunte Wright who was shot dead. by a police officer who thought she was using a taser instead of a gun.

The police officer who shot Wright and the chief of her department both resigned after days of protest in their community however no decision has been made on whether the officer will face charges.

About 1,000 fatal police shootings occur each year, yet only around 1% of these officers are arrested.

As Blake’s attorney put it officials have "failed not only Jacob and his family but the community that protested and demanded justice."

Crump is now representing the family of Daunte Wright, the 20-year-old Black man shot dead by a Minnesota officer Sunday as the cycle of police officers shooting and killing Black men continues without hindrance.

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Alice Kelly is a writer living in Brooklyn, New York. Catch her covering all things social justice, news, and entertainment. Keep up with her on Twitter for more.