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Kenosha, Wis., officer who shot Jacob Blake returns to active duty

Kenosha, Wis., Police officer Rusten Sheskey who shot Jacob Blake last summer returned from administrative leave last month, Police Chief Daniel Miskinis announced Tuesday. File Photo by Alex Wroblewski/UPI
Kenosha, Wis., Police officer Rusten Sheskey who shot Jacob Blake last summer returned from administrative leave last month, Police Chief Daniel Miskinis announced Tuesday. File Photo by Alex Wroblewski/UPI | License Photo

April 13 (UPI) -- Police in Kenosha, Wis., announced Tuesday the officer who shot Jacob Blake in the back last summer returned to duty last month.

Kenosha Police Chief Daniel Miskinis announced that officer Rusten Sheskey returned from administrative leave on March 31, after the Aug. 23 shooting that left Blake, a 29-year-old Black man, paralyzed from the waist down.

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In a written statement, Miskinis said Sheskey was "found to have been acting within policy and will not be subjected to discipline" after an investigation by an outside agency and reviews by an independent expert, the Kenosha County District Attorney and within the department.

"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 wrote.

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Blake's uncle, Justin Blake, told Kenosha News the decision was "outrageous," specifically citing the fact it came amid the fallout of the fatal police-involved shooting of Daunte Wright in Minnesota.

"We think it is an attempt to further harm the African-American community," he said.

The Kenosha County district attorney on Jan. 5 declined to charge Sheskey in the shooting.

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Officials said a female caller reporting a domestic incident on the day of the shooting described Blake as her boyfriend and said he'd taken her keys and refused to return them. She also allegedly said he wasn't allowed at the residence.

Witnesses said Blake tried to intervene with a group of women who were arguing outside the residence when police arrived.

Police then used Tasers on him, but he allegedly fought with police, causing them to draw their guns. On a bystander video, Blake can be seen attempting to enter the driver's side of his vehicle when Sheskey grabbed the back of his shirt, firing seven times.

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Officials also said a knife was found on the floorboard of Blake's vehicle.

Last month, attorneys for Blake filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against Sheskey accusing him of using excessive force.

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