KENOSHA WISCONSI — The US Department of Justice will not pursue a civil rights criminal charges against Kenosha police officer Rusten Sheskey for the shooting of Jacob Blake last summer.
Blake was shot by Officer Rusten Sheskey in Kenosha, August 2020, as a result of a domestic violence situation. Blake was paralyzed from his waist down, triggering protests that lasted several nights.
Days after the shooting, the U.S. Department of Justice began an investigation. After the video showed Blake armed with a knife, Sheskey’s attorneys decided not to press charges against her.
In a statement, the DOJ stated Friday that federal prosecutors from the US Attorney’s Office and their Civil Rights Division reviewed evidence to determine if Sheskey violated federal laws.
Their research was focused upon the “application deprivation law” (a federal criminal law and civil rights statute which prohibits certain forms or misconduct).
According to the DOJ the evidence included witness statements, law enforcement accounts witness statements, witness testimony, witness witness affidavits dispatch logs physical evidence reports, photos, and videos of certain parts of an incident.
To be able to breach federal civil rights laws, the prosecution must prove beyond all doubt that a law enforcement officer intentionally deprives someone constitutionally protected.
The DOJ stated that “neither accident, mistake or fear, nor poor judgment are sufficient to establish an willful federal criminal, civil right violation.”
Federal prosecutors discovered insufficient evidence to show that Sheskey deliberately violated federal civil rights and criminal laws after an investigation.
According to the DOJ, federal authorities have completed their assessment of Blake’s shooting.
This report was contributed by TMJ4 staff and Associated Press.