Who is Rusten Sheskey? (Named as the Officer in the Kenosha Police Shooting) Biography, Wiki
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Wisconsin’s governor says Blake, 29, was shot “in the back multiple times.”
Governor Tony Evers released the injured man’s name, writing on Twitter:
Tonight, Jacob Blake was shot in the back multiple times, in broad daylight, in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Kathy and I join his family, friends, and neighbors in hoping earnestly that he will not succumb to his injuries. While we do not have all of the details yet, what we know for certain is that he is not the first Black man or person to have been shot or injured or mercilessly killed at the hands of individuals in law enforcement in our state or our country.
In the graphic video, Sheskey, 31, shows at extremely close range shooting at least seven shots that appear to be facing Blake’s back as he leaned towards a car. The video of August 23 captures the sound of seven guns. Apparently, the police open fire while holding the back of the man’s shirt. You can watch the video below, but be warned that it is very graphical. It is not yet known whether Blake had a gun or not; It is also unknown what words were exchanged before the shooting. Wisconsin Justice Department is investigating.
Jacob Blake’s father now says his son is paralyzed and it would be a miracle for him to walk again.
After the clash, businesses all over the city were set on fire.
The video shows three officers, including Rusten Sheskey, standing with Blake before he walks away from them. Then, an officer with gun drawn follows Blake to the driver’s side of his car. There are multiple people in the area. A second officer is right behind Blake. Blake, who is Black, gets in the car. The officer, who appears to be white, at least from a distance, then appears to shoot multiple times into the door at Blake’s back.
⚠️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.
This will not end until we end it! When will it be enough? #BlackLivesMatter pic.twitter.com/pVgCwbJoKh
— Terrence Daniels (Captain 🍀 Planet) (@Terrence_STR) August 24, 2020
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
Here’s a video from another vantage point. A woman named Chyna Smith posted it on Facebook and wrote, “He was just bbq for his son bday they shot an unarmed black man in front of his sons.”
The officer who fires appears to be grabbing Blake’s white shirt while firing, and it doesn’t look like Blake turned to face the officer. A second officer has his gun drawn.
A former Kenosha alderman, Kevin Mathewson, was one of those who shared the video on Facebook. You can also watch it here. “Kenosha Police Shooting man 7 times in the back,” he wrote. “Why the f*** you shoot him that many times?” a man shouts at the officer in the video.
Civil rights lawyer Ben Crump said in a statement posted on his Twitter page that Blake represents his family. His release says Blake is “a Black man shot from the back several times by Kenosha police.”
The statement says Blake “helped mitigate a domestic incident when the police pulled their guns and battered them. As he walked away to check on his children, the police fired his guns from close range several times behind him. ”
Sheskey was a police officer serving in the Kenosha police bike unit and served in the department for 6.5 years. Prior to that, he worked in the UW-Parkside Police department for three years, according to an article he interviewed on Kenosha News.
He said his grandfather worked for the city for 33 years. Sheskey said it is easier for people to talk to officers on bicycles. “Obviously it takes the whole car away; windows are not closed. People wave us for everything, from talking about their problems in the neighborhood to saying hello and talking about bikes. It definitely gets us out a lot more. ”
He said he competed in high school and made mountain bikes for fun. To Kenosha News,
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. 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. We’re in a public service job, a customer service job, and the public is our customer. I think that, especially with the officers that we have here, everybody strives to make sure that the public feels served and happy with the services they receive. A lot of officers go way out of their way to make sure that that’s done. … I think the KPD really embraces that.
Sheskey’s brother works as an education administrator.
A photo shared by WISN-TV and pictures on Facebook showed Blake with multiple children, and posts on Facebook indicated that he is a father. His attorney told CNN that his children, ages 3, 5 and 8, were in the car at the time of the shooting.
The Kenosha News also reported that the shooting occurred in front of the man’s children.
Crump confirmed that in his statement. “Blake’s three sons were only a few feet away and witnessed police shoot their father,” he wrote. “His three sons witnessed their father collapse after being riddled with bullets. Their irresponsible, reckless, and inhumane actions nearly cost the life of a man who was simply trying to do the right thing by intervening in a domestic incident. It’s a miracle he’s still alive.”
On scene of an officer-involved shooting in Kenosha. We’re at 28th ave & 40th street working to gather more information. pic.twitter.com/8OpEqK7vtK
— Sarah Thamer (@SarahThamerWISN) August 24, 2020
Governor Evers’ statement on Twitter continued:
We stand with all those who have and continue to demand justice, equity, and accountability for Black lives in our country—lives like those of George Floyd, of Breonna Taylor, Tony Robinson, Dontre Hamilton, Ernest Lacy, and Sylville Smith. And we stand against excessive use of force and immediate escalation when engaging with Black Wisconsinites. I have said all along that although we must offer our empathy, equally important is our action. In the coming days, we will demand just that of elected officials in our state who have failed to recognize the racism in our state and our country for far too long.