Officer Who Shot Joseph Blake Avoids Civil Rights Charges

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The Justice Department won’t bring federal civil-rights charges against Kenosha, WI police officer Rusten Sheskey for shooting Jacob Blake seven times, leaving him paralyzed from the waist down, reports the Wall Street Journal. Officials said that federal prosecutors had found insufficient evidence to prove that Sheskey, who is white, willfully used excessive force when he shot Blake, who is Black.

The decision came after more than a year of investigation that included an examination of police reports, law-enforcement and witness accounts, dispatch logs, physical evidence and photos and video. Kenosha County prosecutors in January, 2021 said they wouldn’t bring charges against the officer. Sheskey returned to work in March, 2021, according to Kenosha police. The Justice Department launched its own separate probe in the days after the shooting, which came to light in a viral video. Authorities have said Mr. Blake actively resisted arrest and was armed with a knife, which he allegedly used to slash at an officer before he was shot.

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