Rioters set fire to car dealerships, furniture stores, dump trucks, and a Department of Corrections building while protesters clashed with National Guardsmen as Kenosha, Wisconsin, descended into violent chaos on Monday.
The unrest entered its second day as outrage grows over the police shooting on Sunday of an unarmed black man in front of his home. Police again fired tear gas at hundreds of protesters who defied a curfew, threw bottles and shot fireworks at law enforcement guarding the courthouse.
Jacob Blake, 29, is listed in serious condition in a Milwaukee hospital after a Kenosha police officer fired seven shots into his back while responding to a domestic disturbance call.
There is no police body-cam footage of the shooting as it was previously decided by city and law enforcement leaders that the devices cost too much to provide them to officers. But a mobile phone clip of the incident went viral on social media on Sunday, igniting widespread outrage three months after the death of George Floyd.
The shooting drew condemnation from Democratic Gov. Tony Evers, who also called out 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.
Police first fired tear gas Monday about 30 minutes after the 8 p.m. curfew took effect to disperse protesters who chanted, ‘No justice, no peace’ as they confronted a line of officers who wore protective gear and stood shoulder-to-shoulder in front of the courthouse entrance. But hundreds of people stuck around, screaming at police and lighting fires, including to a garbage truck near the courthouse.
A city garbage truck burns during a second night of unrest in the wake of the shooting of Jacob Blake by police officers, in Kenosha, Wisconsin, on Monday
An American flag flies over a department of correction building that was lit on fire in Kenosha, Wisconsin, on Monday
Protestores took turns posing in front of a burning garbage truck during a second night of unrest in the wake of the shooting of Jacob Blake by police officers
Police stand near a department of corrections building that was on fire in Kenosha, Wisconsin, on Monday
Law enforcement officers face angry crowds during a second night of unrest in the wake of the shooting of Jacob Blake
Protesters come face to face with police clad in riot gear in Kenosha, Wisconsin, on Monday
A protester attempts to continue standing through a cloud of tear gas fired by police outside the Kenosha County Courthouse on Monday
Meanwhile, details have emerged about Blake’s criminal past, including a recent arrest for sexual assault.
According to online records, Kenosha County prosecutors charged Blake with third-degree sexual assault, trespassing, and disorderly conduct in connection with domestic abuse. It was unclear whether that case had anything to do with the shooting.
In 2015, Blake was also charged with resisting arrest and carrying a concealed weapon after he pulled a gun at a local bar in Racine.
Police in the former auto manufacturing center of 100,000 people midway between Milwaukee and Chicago said they were responding to a call about a domestic dispute when they encountered Blake on Sunday.
They did not say whether Blake was armed or why police opened fire, they released no details on the dispute, and they did not immediately disclose the race of the three officers at the scene.
The man who said he made the cellphone video, 22-year-old Raysean White, said he saw Blake scuffling with three officers and heard them yell, ‘Drop the knife! Drop the knife!’ before the gunfire erupted. He said he didn’t see a knife in Blake’s hands.
The governor said he has seen no information to suggest Blake had a knife or other weapon, but that the case is still being investigated by the state Justice Department. The officers were placed on administrative leave, standard practice in a shooting by police. Authorities released no details about the officers and did not immediately respond to requests for their service records.
Tensions had flared anew earlier Monday after a news conference with Kenosha Mayor John Antarmian, originally to be held in a park, was moved inside the city’s public safety building.
Hundreds of protesters rushed to the building and a door was snapped off its hinges before police in riot gear pepper-sprayed the crowd, which included a photographer from The Associated Press.
Police in Kenosha, Wisconsin, stand near an office furniture building that was set on fire by rioters on Monday
A protester lights a cigarette on a garbage truck that was set on fire during protests in Kenosha, Wisconsin, on Monday
Buildings were engulfed in flames as protestors continued to run riot in Kenosha, Wisconsin, for a second night of defiance
The silhouettes of the demonstrators outline against the glowing flames of cars they set on fire a few block from the county courthouse
Flames engulf several vehicles that were set on fire by rioters in Kenosha, Wisconsin, on Monday
Flames roar from a row of cars torched by protesters a few blocks from the county courthouse in Kenosha, Wisconsin, on Monday
Several protesters walk past police with their arms up in the air as a building burns nearby in Kenosha, Wisconsin, on Monday
Police first fired the tear gas about 30 minutes after the 8pm curfew took effect and protesters refused to disperse. But hundreds of people stuck around, lighting fires and screaming at police.
It is thought that the city, which is home to around 100,000 people, has so far lost a mattress store, church, Mexican restaurant and a cellphone shop in the raging fires, according to witnesses.
Dozens of cars, traffic lights and windows have also been smashed by looters who continue to run riot.
At least one sheriff’s deputy has suffered a neck injury by a firework that was set off by protestors, according to the New York Times. It is uncertain whether there have been any arrests.
Police in Kenosha, Wisconsin, deploy tear gas to disperse protesters near the Kenosha County Courthouse on Monday
Protesters take cover as police use tear gas during riots and demonstrations in Kenosha, Wisconsin, on Monday
An armored police vehicle is seen on the left while officers with riot shields are seen on the right near Kenosha County Court House on Monday
Two protesters stand with raised fists as a garbage truck burns behind them during a second night of unrest in the wake of the shooting of Jacob Blake by police officers in Kenosha, Wisconsin, on Monday
Vehicles at a used car lot had their windscreens smashed by protestors before being set on fire during the ongoing disruption in Kenosha, Wisconsin
A Black Lives Matter supporter holds a sign that reads ‘Stop murdering people of color’ in front of a row of police officers in Kenosha on Monday
Protesters carry an injured man during a march to demonstrate against the shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin, on Monday
Kenosha County police officers clad in riot gear stand in front of the county courthouse in Kenosha, Wisconsin, on Monday
Crowds of protestors gathered around a car as it attempted to drive through a crowd of protestors on Monday in Kenosha, Wisconsin
Protesters clash with Kenosha County Sheriff’s officers in front of the county courthouse on Monday
Demonstrators wearing gas masks throw back canisters of tear gas toward law enforcement in the second night of defiance in Kenosha, Wisconsin
Several protesters reported being hit with projectiles, including rubber bullets and bean bags fired by law enforcement
Several protesters are seen with umbrellas as they stand face to face with police officers near the courthouse in Kenosha on Monday
Evers was quick to condemn the bloodshed, saying that while not all details were known, ‘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.’
Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden said the officers ‘must be held accountable.’
‘This morning, the nation wakes up yet again with grief and outrage that yet another Black American is a victim of excessive force,’ he said, just over two months before Election Day in a country already roiled by the recent deaths of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Rayshard Brooks in Atlanta and Breonna Taylor in Louisville, Kentucky. ‘Those shots pierce the soul of our nation.’
Republicans and the police union accused the politicians of rushing to judgment, reflecting the deep partisan divide in Wisconsin, a key presidential battleground state. Wisconsin GOP members also decried the violent protests, echoing the law-and-order theme that President Donald Trump has been using in his reelection campaign.
‘As always, the video currently circulating does not capture all the intricacies of a highly dynamic incident,’ Pete Deates, president of the Kenosha police union, said in a statement. He called the governor’s statement ‘wholly irresponsible.’
A protester stands off with police in riot gear outside the Kenosha County Courthouse late Monday in Kenosha, Wisconsin
Several buildings, including a Wisconsin Department of Corrections building, were set on fire in Kenosha
National Guard troops fire tear gas on the crowd to disperse them after a warning was ignored during protests on Monday in Wisconsin
Police and members of the Sheriff’s department hold a perimeter around the courthouse in Kenosha, Wisconsin, on Monday
Sheriff officers stand guard protecting the Kenosha County Courthouse, with ‘less-lethal’ weapons on Monday as riots continue into a second day
Scores of police officers took up positions while clad in riot gear and holding shields as they protected the courthouse in Kenosha, Wisconsin, on Monday
The unrest in Kenosha comes in response to Sunday’s shooting of Jacob Blake, a 29-year-old black man. Witnesses reported that at least three police officers had their guns drawn as Blake (seen above in the white t-shirt) was walking away from them on Sunday
The images above show the moments leading up to the shooting. Blake (seen in the white shirt) walks away from a police officer who has his gun drawn and is ordering him to stop
Jacob Blake’s mug shot from 2015 is seen left. Online records (right) indicate that an arrest warrant was issued for Blake last month. He was charged with sexual assault
Blake, 29, was listed in stable condition following surgery, his father told news media on Monday. His three young sons witnessed the shooting from just a few feet away while sitting in their car, according to the family attorney, Ben Crump.
Video of the encounter taken by an onlooker showed Blake walking toward the driver’s side of a gray SUV followed by two officers with their guns drawn at his back.
Seven gunshots are then heard as Blake, who appears unarmed, opens the car door and a woman nearby jumps up and down in disbelief.
It was unknown whether the officers saw something inside the vehicle that prompted them to shoot Blake. It was also not clear whether one or both officers opened fire.
A man speaks to police lined up during a protest outside the Kenosha County Courthouse on Monday during the second night of rioting
Police form a barrier as they stand near a garbage truck ablaze during the protests in Kenosha, Wisconsin, on Monday
A protester uses a tennis racket to hit back a can of tear gas toward police as he shields himself with an umbrella outside the Kenosha County Courthouse on Monday
A protester walks past a building with broken windows as others burn during the protests in Kenosha in response to the shooting of Jacob Blake
Sheriff officers wearing gas masks stand guard outside the Kenosha County Courthouse in Wisconsin as rioters continue for a second night
City and law enforcement leaders in Kenosha had unanimously endorsed the use of body cameras in 2017 as a way to increase police accountability and collect evidence at scenes of domestic violence, among other benefits.
But they later balked at the price tag, raised policy concerns and put off implementation.
Kenosha Mayor John Antaramian confirmed on Monday that current plans call for the city to buy them in 2022 — more than five years after he endorsed their adoption.
Officers do have cameras in their squad cars, but it’s unclear whether any captured the shooting.
Nicholas Gonzalez calls for medical attention after getting shot in the wrist with a projectile in Kenosha, Wisconsin, on Monday
Law enforcement officials form a human barricade near the courthouse in Kenosha, Wisconsin, on Monday
People yell at a line of police officers during a protest outside the Kenosha County courthouse in Kenosha, Wisconsin, on Monday
A woman taunts members of the sheriff’s department as they hold a perimeter outside the Kenosha County courthouse in Kenosha, Wisconsin, on Monday
Protesters set fire to an office on Monday night as looters ran riot for a second night in Kenosha, Wisconsin
Blake’s partner, Laquisha Booker, told NBC’s Milwaukee affiliate, WTMJ-TV, that the couple’s three children were in the back seat of the SUV when police shot him.
‘That man just literally grabbed him by his shirt and looked the other way and was just shooting him. With the kids in the back screaming. Screaming,’ Booker said.
Blake’s grandfather, Jacob Blake Sr., was a prominent minister and civil rights leader in the Chicago area who helped organize a march and spoke in support of a comprehensive housing law in Evanston, Illinois, days after the 1968 slaying of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.
Rachel Noerdlinger, publicist for the National Action Network, told The Associated Press that the Rev. Al Sharpton spoke Monday to Blake’s father, who called the civil rights leader for his support. Blake’s father will speak at Sharpton’s March on Washington commemoration on Friday, Noerdlinger said.
A protester holding a pro-Black Lives Matter sign stands near a burning garbage truck outside the courthouse in Kenosha, Wisconsin, on Monday
A protester raises her fist while standing in a cloud of tear gas as a garbage truck burns in the background near the county courthouse in Kenosha, Wisconsin, on Monday
A protester uses an umbrella to shield himself from tear gas fired by police during unrest in Kenosha, Wisconsin, on Monday
Police take up positions next to an armored vehicle as protests raged in Kenosha, Wisconsin, for a second straight night on Monday
A protester wearing a face mask taunted police on Monday during a confrontation in Kenosha, Wisconsin, in response to the shooting of Jacob Blake by a police officer a day earlier
Luna, 23, came with a group from Milwaukee who call themselves The Peoples Revolution. She is seen above holding up the beanbag that hit her backpack in Kenosha
Police attempt to push back protesters outside the Kenosha County Courthouse in Kenosha, Wisconsin, on Monday
The shooting occurred three months after the May 25 death of a Black man in Minneapolis, George Floyd, who was pinned to the street under the knee of a white police officer, sparking nationwide protests against police brutality and racism within the US criminal justice system.
Sunday’s shooting occurred as officers were responding to what they termed a ‘domestic incident.’
Police immediately took the victim to a hospital, according to a police statement. Authorities gave no further explanation of what led to the shooting.
Attorney Crump, who also has represented Floyd’s family, said in a statement that Blake had been trying to de-escalate a domestic incident when the officers first shot him with a stun gun.
‘As he was walking away to check on his children, police fired their weapons several times into his back at point-blank range,’ Crump said.
The officers involved were placed on administrative leave while the investigation is underway, the Wisconsin Department of Justice said on Monday.
New footage shows Jacob Blake brawling with cops before being shot as two white Wisconsin officers are placed on leave
The 29-year-old unarmed black man who was shot seven times by a Wisconsin police officer on Sunday was involved in a brawl with several Kenosha cops moments before the shooting.
Amateur video shows the events leading up to the shooting – though the footage is taken from the opposite angle of the initial viral cell phone clip in which Jacob Blake is seen walking toward his SUV before he is gunned down.
In the latest video, Blake is seen wrestling with at least two Kenosha police officers.
Blake then manages to break free from the mayhem and begins to walk from the passenger’s side of his SUV to the driver’s side.
As he opens the driver’s side door, gunshots ring out. The video ends there.
The officers involved in the shooting have been placed on administrative leave and are said to be cooperating with investigators, according to the Wisconsin Department of Justice.
The state DOJ has launched an investigation into the shooting.
Amateur cell phone video shot from a different angle on Sunday shows Jacob Blake, a 29-year-old black man, entangled with police officers in Kenosha, Wisconsin
Blake (seen above in the white shirt) then walks around the SUV to the driver’s side while the police officers follow him with guns drawn
Blake, who is listed in serious condition at a Milwaukee hospital, was shot in the back seven times in front of his three children after police were called to his home to reports of a domestic dispute on Sunday.
Video of the shooting of Blake quickly went viral, with angered protesters setting cars on fire, smashing windows and clashing with officers dressed in riot gear across the city throughout Sunday evening and into the early hours of Monday.
Meanwhile, the police union representing officers on the Kenosha police force released a statement on Monday criticizing Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers, who immediately condemned the ‘excessive force’ used by the cops.
‘Anytime deadly force is used, our hearts go out to those affected by it,’ Pete Deates, president of the Kenosha Professional Police Association, said in a statement.
The video shows Blake managing to extricate himself from the officers’ grasp
‘We assure you an independent investigation is being conducted by the Wisconsin Department of Justice, Division of Criminal Investigation.
‘Until that investigation is completed, we ask that you withhold prejudgment about the incident and please the let process take place.
‘Governor Evers’ statement on the incident was wholly irresponsible and not reflective of the hardworking members of the law enforcement community, not to mention the citizens of the City of Kenosha.
‘As always, the video currently circulating does not capture all the intricacies of a highly dynamic incident. We ask that you withhold from passing judgement until all the facts are known and released.
‘We, along with the citizens of the great City of Kenosha, ask for peace and to let the process play out fairly and impartially.’