All hell has been unleashed in Kenosha, Wisconsin, with residents setting buildings and cars on fire protesting the police shooting of Jacob Blake.
For the second night, unrest has raged in Wisconsin, with videos on social media showing protesters burning buildings and smashing and setting fires to cars. Protesters defied the curfew set in place on Sunday following the injuring of Blake. Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers deployed at least 125 members of the National Guard on Monday after protesters set cars on fire, smashed windows and clashed with officers in riot gear the previous night, Dailymail reported.
Evers condemned the incident, stating that while not all details were known, “what we know for certain is that Blake 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.”
Pete Deates the President of the Kenosha police union stated that the governor’s statement was irresponsible. “As always, the video currently circulating does not capture all the intricacies of a highly dynamic incident.”
The civil unrest even spread from mostly urban and commercial centers to residential areas. There was at least one report where a homeowner threatened protesters waving a firearm and firing warning shots into the air.
A homeowner in Milwaukee, Wisconsin fired a warning shot at protesters in his neighborhood. pic.twitter.com/YAEHDfcBBk
— Ian Miles Cheong (@stillgray) August 25, 2020
In another incident, a group of rioters attacked and burned several local businesses in an area near a residential neighborhood. As the rioters moved through the area, several shots rang out from a man screaming “get the f*** away from these businesses, these people rely on these to live.” A man in the video said that the man who appeared to be National Guard dressed in military uniform who fired the shots was on the side of Black Lives Matter but didn’t want them to ruin their local businesses.
Shooting breaks out in Kenosha as rioters torch entire businesses. pic.twitter.com/eKCN8sFsx6
— Ian Miles Cheong (@stillgray) August 25, 2020
In another video men appearing to wear military garb and bulletproof vests stated much of the same they were there to protect innocent people, not the government. “We’re out here trying to protect residents, we’re trying to protect the innocent people and we’re trying to protect the businesses of the citizens out here…,” an unknown man said brandishing a mask.
Some residents were harassed by the crowd for protecting a local business (not their own business)
“We’re out here trying to protect residents, we’re trying to protect the innocent people and we’re trying to protect the businesses of the citizens out here…” pic.twitter.com/1uNWHM6kNl
— Shelby Talcott (@ShelbyTalcott) August 25, 2020
There was also a widely shared viral video of an older business owner being beaten up by a mob of people and lectured on Black Lives Matter. In the footage, an older man is seen confronting the mob trying to stop them from setting his shop on fire spraying them with a fire extinguisher. The mob then walks up and smacks him in the head and the man falls over hitting the pavement.
A business owner trying to protect his business from being looted and set on fire is knocked out and then lectured at about BLM
— Luke Rudkowski (@Lukewearechange) August 25, 2020
Rioters even stole a police car according to a video widely shared on Twitter.
The Kenosha Courthouse, which was guarded by the Wisconsin National Guard, also came under attack by hundreds of rioters who hurled bottles and shot fireworks at them. Anewspost previously reported the Courthouse was set on fire on Sunday. In an ironic moment of symbolism, the American flag can be seen falling from the Department of Corrections which was also set ablaze in the video below.
— Pindrop (@StillPindrop) August 25, 2020
The unrest began on Sunday evening after a police officer shot 29-year-old Jacob Blake in the back seven times after he refused to follow an order to stop and attempted to gain entry into his vehicle which had his three children inside. The police did not say whether Blake was armed or why police opened fire on the man. Police have not yet announced any more details on the shooting at the time of this report.
However, new footage has emerged showing the moments before Blake was shot. The video captures Blake engaged in a struggle with at least two Kenosha police officers on the right side of his gray SUV wrestling with them on Sunday, TMZ reported.
An officer appears to be trying to restrain him before he manages to get up and walks to the driver’s door. It’s unknown if Blake was going for a weapon or why he opened his drivers’ side door. Blake was previously charged with concealing a firearm according to reports.
Within hours after the shooting of Blake, Kenosha heated up as rioters began looting and committing acts of arson all over the city. Blake is alive and receiving treatment at a local hospital. However, it was announced today that the man may be paralyzed completely from the waist down, meaning he may never walk again.
Authorities have enacted a curfew which was put into effect at 7 a.m. on Monday morning. The Wisconsin Department of Justice is investigating the police-involved shooting according to a report by the New York Times. All officers involved were placed on administrative leave and the DOJ “aims to provide a report of the incident to the prosecutor within 30 days” to determine whether to file any charges.