DOJ won’t bring charges against Kenosha officer who shot Jacob Blake

Federal prosecutors cited insufficient evidence of "willfully used excessive force"

By Brandon Sapienza
New York Daily News

KENOSHA, Wis. — The Department of Justice will not pursue civil rights charges against the cop who shot Jacob Blake last summer, partially paralyzing him.

On Aug. 23, 2020, while responding to a report of a domestic dispute in Kenosha, Wisconsin, Officer Rusten Sheskey responded to the call and shot at Blake seven times.

Federal prosecutors said Friday that they had insufficient evidence that proved Sheskey “willfully used excessive force,” according to a DOJ statement.

Investigators from the Justice Department also reviewed police reports, witness and law enforcement accounts, photos, videos and more.

“After a careful and thorough review, a team of experienced federal prosecutors determined that insufficient evidence exists to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the KPD officer willfully violated the federal criminal civil rights statutes,” the DOJ said.

Several officers were attempting to detain Blake, who had a warrant out for his arrest. During the encounter, he approached the driver’s side of his vehicle and that’s when Sheskey fired the shots into Blake’s back.

A knife was recovered on the floor of the driver’s side of the vehicle.

Sheskey was also not charged by the Kenosha County District Attorney, Mike Graveley. At the time, Graveley said that Sheskey was justified in his use of force because of the knife that was recovered at the scene.

Kenosha police also did not discipline the officer, saying that he acted “within policy.”

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McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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