Rusten T. Sheskey is the Kenosha Police Department officer who shot African-American man Jacob Blake in the back at least eight times at around 5:11 p.m. on August 23, 2020 in Kenosha, Wisconsin, United States. The latter was paralyzed as a result.
That day, Blake’s fiancée Laquisha Booker called the Kenosha Police Department to report that he had the keys to her rental car and was refusing to give them back and said “on top of that, he’s not supposed to be here.” Sheskey was one of the cops dispatched to Booker’s residence in the 2800 block of 40th Street in Kenosha where Blake was found armed with a knife.
After the shooting, Sheskey was placed on administrative leave. Here are 13 more things about him:
- Mountain biking is one of his hobbies. He raced in high school.
- His brother Garrett Sheskey is married to Susan M. Sheskey.
- His grandfather joined Kenosha’s force in 1987.
- He worked for the University of Wisconsin-Parkside Police Department from 2010 to 2013.
- In response to three alleged hate crimes at the University of Wisconsin on February 2, 2012, he was one of the police officers assigned to dorms, according to The Journal Times.
- He joined the Kenosha Police Department in 2013.
- In September 2016, he violated the force’s Safe Operation of Department Vehicles. He was disciplined for this violation in March 2017 with a one-day suspension without pay.
- In 2017, he was engaged to be married.
- He has served in the Kenosha police bike unit. In an interview with Kenosha News about riding bicycles in August 2019, he said, “We’re in a public service job, a customer service job, and the public is our customer.”
- He was one of the Kenosha Police Department officers named in a lawsuit filed in January 2020 by a man who claimed that officers wrongfully used a no-knock search warrant to detain him.
- He was 31 years old when he fired his service weapon seven times into Blake’s back on August 23, 2020 while holding onto the shirt of the African-American man while three children of the latter were watching.
- On January 5, 2021, a Wisconsin prosecutor declined to file charges against him in relation to the shooting of Blake. The prosecutor could not disprove his contention that he acted in self-defense because he feared Blake would stab him.
- On March 31, 2021, he returned from administrative leave. On April 13, 2021, Kenosha Police Department chief Daniel Miskinis announced that an outside agency and independent experts have found him to have acted within the law and department policy when he shot Black on August 23, 2020, which meant he was back on the job.