Two of the three officers connected to the shooting of Jacob Blake Jr. have been allowed to return to duty. Officers Vincent Arenas and Brittany Meronek were initially placed on administrative leave last August after the tragic shooting took place, but were given the opportunity to resume work on January 20 once they were cleared by the Kenosha Police Department.
"Officers Arenas and Meronek were not charged with a crime and after review by the Kenosha County District Attorney and an independent investigator, former Madison Police Chief Noble Wray, the actions taken by the officers were reasonable and justified," the Kenosha Police Department stated.
The third officer involved in the shooting, Rusten Sheskey, remains on administrative leave "pending the findings of a Kenosha Police use of deadly force review board." Sheskey is responsible for shooting Blake Jr. multiple times and potentially paralyzing him. In spite of his actions, Sheskey has not been criminally charged. Instead, Sheskey has attempted to explain that he fired because he feared that Blake Jr. was reaching for a weapon during their meeting on August 23, 2020. However, Blake Jr.'s attorney has refuted this explanation.
"There was no point in the video that is articulable for an officer to say that he was under harm at that particular point. I think that's completely bogus and I think that is just a rationalization to try to show what is really, essentially, an intentional act," attorney B'Ivory Lamarr said.
"It's not against the law to have a knife, people have knives for a variety of different reasons. Jacob Blake is privy to having a knife."
With all that has happened, Blake Jr.'s family remains optimistic about the future and his recovery.
"The way he is taking this mental approach, the way he puts all his effort into his therapy, and the passion, if anybody could walk again one day, it would be my nephew," Justin Blake said.
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