Kenosha police officer Rusten Sheskey made headlines in August 2020 for tasing and shooting Jacob Blake seven times, leaving him paralyzed from the waist down. Sheskey was in the news again after being placed on a short suspension with no pay this April, seven months after the shooting of the 29-year-old. The unpaid suspension is for not properly securing a department-issued replacement gun, which was stolen — not for shooting Blake.
Sheskey was instead placed on paid administrative leave through March 31 for the actual shooting. His three-day suspension for not securing the weapon properly ended April 15.
On Aug. 23, 2020, Sheskey was issued a replacement weapon, a Glock17 pistol, following Blake’s shooting. While on leave, the gun was stolen from Sheskey’s girlfriend’s car on Sept. 15. The officer reported the gun missing on the same day, however, authorities didn’t investigate the incident until seven months later. Sheskey already had returned to work in March.
WISN obtained a video recording from the investigation that took place on April 6, in which Sheskey revealed to the Kenosha Police Internal Affairs investigator what led to the gun being stolen. The officer claimed that he was living in constant fear following Blake’s shooting and wanted to be ready at all times, stating, “Myself and my family received numerous threats against our property, our lives.” He added, “I always wanted a firearm in one of our cars in case we needed it.”
Regarding what took so long for Sheskey to be investigated over the missing weapon, which hasn’t been recovered, Kenosha Police Lt. Joseph Nosalik told the outlet that all the information was available, yet no one made a move to do anything.
“Chief (Daniel) Miskinis had all of the information and sat on it and was doing that to wait to find out what would have happened with Sheskey had D.A. Graveley decided to file criminal charges,” Nosalik told WISN 12 on Friday. Adding, “Had Sheskey violated some type of policy that was found in the use of force review, it possibly could have led to termination, so if we would have terminated Sheskey, what would have been the point of rushing forward with the stolen gun thing? Right? So we waited for each one to play out.”
Sheskey disclosed that he routinely left the gun in his girlfriend’s car. On the night of the robbery, the vehicle was parked on the wrong side of the street, and they went to move the vehicle. However, when they approached the car, it was obvious someone else had been inside.
“I put my pistol in the glove box; I’ve done that before. I usually locked it. I don’t know why I didn’t lock it. I opened the door, ran around, opened the glove box, the pistol was gone,” he explained. Meanwhile, Sheskey’s girlfriend was “unsure if she locked the vehicle after leaving,” an officer wrote in the Racine Police report on the theft.
When questioned as to whether he thought putting the gun in the glove box was a wise decision, Sheskey admittingly said no. Shortly afterward, the officer said he bought a safe box to place his other firearms at the home where he resided. “Hindsight is 20/20,” he expressed. “I should have gone out and bought another one.”
Sheskey was cleared of any criminal wrongdoing for shooting Blake. Sheskey shot Blake seven times when he and two other Kenosha officers tried to arrest Blake on an outstanding warrant.