The Wisconsin police officer who shot Jacob Blake, a 29-year-old father of six, has been named by authorities in the wake of numerous protests.
Rusten Sheskey was identified as the Kenosha Police Department officer who shot Blake seven times in a statement released by the Wisconsin Department of Justice’s Division of Criminal Investigation on Wednesday.
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The incident occurred on Sunday when officers from the Kenosha Police Department were dispatched to a residence after a caller reported that her boyfriend, who was not supposed to be on the premise, was at the home, according to officials.
Officers on scene attempted to arrest Blake and deployed a taser, the DOJ said.
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Blake then walked around his vehicle, opened the driver’s side door and leaned forward, according to authorities. During that time, the DOJ said Sheskey, who has been with Kenosha Police Department for seven years, held onto Blake’s shirt and fired into his back seven times.
Officials noted that no other officer fired their weapons, and none of the officers were wearing body cameras as the Kenosha Police Department have not been equipped with them.
Upon further investigation, Blake admitted that he had a knife in his possession and authorities were able to retrieve it from the driver’s side floorboard of the car, according to the DOJ. No other weapons were found.
The DOJ said all officers involved in the incident have been placed on administrative leave.
Jacob Blake, at center
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Blake’s shooting was captured in bystander video that has since gone viral, sparking three straight nights of clashes between police and protesters. Two people were killed, and a third was injured, in a shooting at a Kenosha protest Tuesday night.
The widely shared video of the incident shows police officers following Blake, one with his gun raised and pointed, as Blake walks away from them and prepares to enter a vehicle. When Blake moves around the front of the vehicle, then opens the driver’s side door and leans inside, at least seven gunshots are heard.
Ben Crump, an attorney for the Blake family, said that Blake had been helping to deescalate a domestic incident when police drew weapons and tasered him. Three of Blake’s six children (ages 3, 5 and 8) were in the car at the time and witnessed the shooting, according to the attorney.
Blake’s father revealed earlier this week that his son is paralyzed from the waist down as he continues to recover in the hospital, though doctors have not said if the injury is permanent.
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Campaign Zero (joincampaignzero.org) which works to end police brutality in America through research-proven strategies.
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