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DOJ: Jacob Blake told police he had a knife; name of officer released

Published: Aug. 26, 2020 at 6:20 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - The Wisconsin Dept. of Justice revealed new details from its investigation into the shooting of Jacob Blake by a Kenosha police officer, including that Blake had told officers he had a knife in his possession.

The officer who shot Blake was identified as Ofc. Rusten Sheskey, a seven-year veteran of the force. In its description of events, the DOJ stated Sheskey shot Blake seven times in the back while officers were trying to arrest him. No other officers fired their weapons during the incident.

According to the agency, officers were called to a home in the 2800 block of 40th Street after a woman reported that her boyfriend was there, but was not allowed to be at the home. After they arrived, officers said they tried to arrest Blake and unsuccessfully deployed a Taser to try to detain him.

In a description that seemed to mirror a widely-circulated video of the incident, the DOJ’s Division of Criminal Investigation states Blake walked over to the driver’s side of his vehicle, opened the door, and leaned forward - at which point Sheskey, while holding Blake’s shirt, fired all seven shots. After the shooting, Blake was flown to a Milwaukee hospital for treatment. His family has said Blake was paralyzed and it would take ‘a miracle’ for him to walk again.

DCI’s investigation later found that Blake had told officers he had a knife in his possession. Its agents also reported discovering a knife on the driver’s side floorboard of Blake’s vehicle, but they did not find any other weapons.

The DCI is currently leading the investigation, with assistance from the FBI, the Wisconsin State Patrol, and the Kenosha Co. Sheriff’s Office. Investigators noted they are all cooperating fully and the officers involved have all been placed on administrative leave.

It added that DCI policy in officer-involved shooting is to have the investigation concluded within 30 days. After it wraps up, the findings are turned over to the prosecutor’s officer, who will determine if any charges are warranted.

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