DOJ Won't File Charges Against Police Officer Who Shot Jacob Blake

Federal prosecutors announced Friday that they won't file charges against a white police officer shot Jacob Blake multiple times last summer.


Photo by Daniel Boczarski/Getty Images


The Justice Department announced Friday that it will not pursue charges against the Wisconsin police officer who shot Jacob Blake last summer.

Kenosha police officer Rusten Sheskey shot Blake, 30, seven times while responding to a domestic incident on Aug. 23, 2020. The shooting left Blake paralyzed from the waist down.

In its finding, federal prosecutors said the evidence obtained was insufficient to prove Sheskey “willfully used excessive force.” The agency said it informed Blake’s family of the decision.

“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.

The news arrives several months after the Kenosha Police Department announced that Sheskey had returned to active duty and would not be subjected to any internal discipline: “Although this incident has been reviewed at multiple levels, I understand that some will not be pleased with the outcome; however, given the facts, it was the only lawful and appropriate decision to be made,” Kenosha Police Chief Daniel Miskinis said in April.

The incident occured as officers were attempting to detain Blake after being called to the scene over a domestic dispute. Witnesses told the Kenosha News that Blake was trying to “break up a fight between two women” outside a home in the area when police arrived. Police, they say, “attempted to use a Taser” on the man prior to firing at him multiple times. Witnesses have also said Blake was unarmed. 

Blake was struck by six of the bullets and is now paralyzed from the waist down.

Latest in Life