Who is Rusten Sheskey? (Police officer who shot Jacob Blake) Wiki, Biography
Rusten Sheskey, a Kenosha police officer who has worked as a bicycle officer and for a campus Police Department, was named by Wisconsin’s Attorney General as the officer who shot and seriously wounded Jacob Blake, a shooting that was captured on video and has led to arson fires and property damage in the southeastern Wisconsin community.
In the first update on the shooting since a brief statement this weekend, Kaul said on Wednesday evening that officers were dispatched to a Kenosha home on Sunday after a woman reported that a boyfriend was present and wasn’t supposed to be there.
Officers attempted to arrest Blake, 29, and deployed a Taser to no effect, Kaul said. Blake walked around his car, opened the driver’s side door, and leaned forward, according to Kaul. While holding Blake’s shirt, Sheskey fired seven times.
The Wisconsin Department of Justice claimed Blake admitted that he had a knife in his possession. Department of Criminal Investigation agents recovered a knife from the driver’s side floorboard of his vehicle, according to Kaul.
Kaul didn’t make it clear if Blake was the same person who turned up at the woman’s house, but Ben Crump, an attorney for Blake’s family, has previously said Blake stopped his car to interrupt a fight when he was accosted by officers and shot in front of his kids. Crump also said Blake didn’t have a weapon on him.
On at least two social media accounts, Sheskey used as his profile image a black and white flag with a single blue stripe—a totem of pro-cop solidarity in the face of public criticism over brutal police violence.
In an interview with a local news site last year about being part of the Kenosha P.D.’s bike unit, Sheskey said he’d always wanted to be a cop.
“What I like most is that you’re dealing with people on perhaps the worst day of their lives and you can try and help them as much as you can and make that day a little bit better,” he told Kenosha News.
“And that, for the most part, people trust us to do that for them. And it’s a huge responsibility, and I really like trying to help the people. We may not be able to make a situation right, or better, but we can maybe make it a little easier for them to handle during that time.”
According to the Journal-Times, Sheskey was detailed to the site of alleged hate crimes while serving as a cop at the University of Wisconsin—Parkside in 2012. After a student reported finding a rubber-band noose in their dorm, fliers emerged with the names of Black students and threats against their lives. Additional university police were brought in as a special detail in connection with the incident, Sheskey apparently among them.
Sheskey attended the same college himself, according to a LinkedIn profile matching his name.
Sheskey, 31, fired the seven shots at close range into Blake’s back as Blake bent into a car, the graphic video shows. The August 23 video captures the sound of seven gunshots. It appears that the officer opens fire while holding the back of the man’s shirt. You can watch the video below but be forewarned that it is very graphic. The shooting has led to days of Black Lives Matter demonstrations that escalated into multiple businesses being burned down, broken windows, and destroyed cars. In addition, people threw fireworks and bottles at police officers in riot gear. That culminated in a shooting that left two dead and another man wounded. The accused gunman was named as Kyle Rittenhouse, a 17 year old law enforcement and Blue Lives Matter supporter from Antioch, Illinois.
Wow. This Black man was shot several times in the back by @KenoshaPolice today. He was getting into his car after apparently breaking up a fight between two women. He’s in critical condition now. We demand JUSTICE! #BlackLivesMatter pic.twitter.com/I1reDEp4nw
— Ben Crump (@AttorneyCrump) August 24, 2020
⚠️Warning Police Violence ⚠️
I’ve never seen such a casual street execution…
They shot another Black Man 7 times in the back.
Kenosha #Wisconsin. He is in critical condition.
— Terrence Daniels (Captain 🍀 Planet) (@Terrence_STR) August 24, 2020
Sheskey Was an Officer at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside Who Investigated a Hate Crime Incident
According to Sheskey’s LinkedIn page and an old newspaper article on him, he previously worked as a “CSO at University of Wisconsin-Parkside.” An old article in the Racine Journal-Times ran a photo of Sheskey, saying,
University police officer Rusten Sheskey is on duty in the lobby of the Pike River suites dormitory, as police are assigned to dorms, in response to three alleged hate crimes at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside, Thursday February 2, 2012. University authorities reported that a noose was found in a campus dorm, a second noose and a note that threatened the student who reported the noose, and fliers that named about a dozen African-American students and said they would die in two days
Kenosha police have released very few details about how the shooting unfolded. Here’s the full statement released by Kenosha police about the August 23 shooting:
At 5:11 p.m. Kenosha Police Officers were sent to the 2800 block of 40th Street for a domestic incident and were involved in an officer involved shooting.
Officers provided immediate aid to the person. The person was transported via Flight for Life to Froedtert Hospital, Milwaukee. The person is in serious condition.
Kenosha Sheriff’s Department and Wisconsin State Patrol were requested immediately so that the scene could be turned over to an agency, other than Kenosha Police.
The Wisconsin Department of Justice (D.O.J.), Division of Criminal Investigation (D.C.I.) will be investigating this officer involved shooting. Further media releases will come directly from D.C.I. Inquiries should be directed to email@example.com
On August 24, police released a follow-up statement, but it didn’t say much else. The city declared a state of emergency and curfew.
The DOJ statement provided critical details for the first time, such as the contention that Blake had a knif
Sheskey Shared Law Enforcement Memes on Social Media & a Flag With a Thin Blue Line
Sheskey has a Pinterest page with law enforcement quotes and memes. He has a privatized Instagram page with only a profile picture of a dog visible. On Facebook, the only post visible is an American flag with a thin blue line.
He has a YouTube channel with a few videos on it. One shows him doing a cold water challenge in Lake Michigan. Some of his workouts are posted online.
Sheskey was engaged to be married in 2017, according to an online wedding registry website.