By Steve Gorman
(Reuters) – A white policeman has been cleared of charges after shooting an African-American man in the back last August in Kenosha, Wisconsin, causing deadly protests that contribute to a season Summer racial tension in America, has been returned to duty.
Sheriff Kenosha Daniel Miskinis said in a statement posted on Tuesday that officer Rusten Sheskey has returned to administrative leave since March 31, after an internal review revealed he “had already been on duty policy “and will not face discipline.
In January, Wisconsin prosecutors removed all criminal charges for Sheskey on August 23, 2020, the shooting paralyzed Jacob Blake and became the main focus of nationwide protests for credit. by race after the murder of George Floyd a few months earlier in Minneapolis.
The District Attorney Kenosha concluded Sheskey acted in self-defense while responding to a domestic dispute and shot Blake seven times at close range from behind.
Investigators discovered that Blake was armed with a knife and resisted the arrest, withstanding Taser’s multiple shots before he was knocked out.
The shooting took place in the presence of Blake’s little children.
Blake sued Sheskey in federal court in Wisconsin last month, claiming unspecified damages for his injury and a “substantial sum” in punitive damages.
The other two officers were also removed from charges because their roles in the arrest and shooting were returned to full duty last July, after their actions were deemed justified and plausible. , the police said later.
“Although this incident has been looked at on many levels, I know that some people will be dissatisfied with the outcome,” Sheriff Miskinis said. “However, to the truth, the only legal and appropriate decision was made.”
It is still unclear whether Sheskey will be returned to patrol duty.
Protests erupted last summer in response to a mobile video that showed Blake circling in front of his car with Sheskey following behind him and shooting after Blake opened the door. vehicle.
But investigators said the video was incomplete, not revealing that Blake was armed with a knife and that he resisted the arrest as police attempted to detain him under a felony arrest warrant.
The Blake shooting drew the combination of civil rights protesters, anarchists and right-wing militants last summer to Kenosha, a 100,000-resident city between Milwaukee and Chicago.
At the height of those protests, teen Kyle Rittenhouse opened fire with a rifle, killing two men and injuring another. Rittenhouse was charged with first-degree reckless murder and five other crimes.
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