Kenosha, Wisconsin – The Department of Justice announced Friday that it will not pursue civil rights against the Kenosha, Wisconsin police officer who shot Jacob Blake in the back.
In August 2020, while police were responding to a domestic dispute call, Officer Rusten Sheskey shot Blake seven times in the back as he entered a vehicle. Blakes children where in the back of the vehicle during the shooting.
The shooting, which left Blake paralyzed from the waist down, led to days of mass protests that ended in violence and death after an armed group faced off against demonstrators. Two men were killed in the altercation.
Earlier this year, state prosecutors decided not to press charges against Sheskey because Blake had a knife in his hand.
Federal prosecutors launched an investigation days after the shooting. The agency released a statement Friday saying they had insufficient evidence that proved Sheskey willfully used excessive force or violated Blake’s federal rights.
“After a careful and thorough review, a team of experienced federal prosecutors determined that insufficient evidence exists to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the KPD officer willfully violated the federal criminal civil rights statutes,” the DOJ said.
Kenosha police did not discipline the officer, saying that he acted “within policy.”
Blake’s father said he disagrees that Sheskey didn’t willfully use excessive force.
“Seven times in the back is excessive,” he said in an interview with ABC News. “I don’t care if you’re a dog. Seven times in the back, that’s not excessive?”