While Jacob Blake hasn’t received justice for the seven shots fired into his back, two of the officers who watched it happen have been placed back on active duty.
According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Officers Vincent Arenas and Brittany Meronek had been on administrative leave since the Aug. 23 shooting. Neither of them used deadly force against Blake and were cleared of any wrongdoing by Noble Wray, a former Madison police chief who was brought on as a consultant to review the state Department of Justice’s investigation into the shooting. Both officers have been listed as active duty since Jan. 20.
Earlier this month, Kenosha County District Attorney Michael Graveley announced that Officer Rustin Sheskey, the man who fired the seven shots at Blake, would not face charges for the shooting. According to Graveley, despite the fact Sheskey shot a man in the back while he was walking away, he could still successfully argue self-defense because Blake had a knife.
Sheskey is still on administrative leave while an internal review into his use of force is conducted. Blake survived the shooting but was left paralyzed below the waist. Video of the shooting quickly went viral and ignited multiple protests in the city of Kenosha.
During one of those protests, 17-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse, a staunch Blue Lives Matter and Trump supporter, fatally shot Anthony Huber and Joseph Rosenbaum, two men who were protesting. Rittenhouse is currently facing charges for the shooting.
Blake’s shooting only intensified nationwide tensions surrounding race and policing following the deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor at the hands of police only months earlier. The shooting also became a focal point during the 2020 presidential race, with President Joe Biden visiting Blake’s family and saying that charges should be filed. Former President Trump, on the other hand, wheeled out his rote law and order rhetoric and gave his officials sympathetic talking points about Rittenhouse.
So despite one man being paralyzed, and two men getting killed during the fallout, it’s nice to know the officers who more or less started all this chaos won’t face any major consequences. America will never fail to America.