Rioters Torch Kenosha as New Video Shows Jacob Blake Fighting With Police

Zachary Stieber
By Zachary Stieber
August 25, 2020USshare
Rioters Torch Kenosha as New Video Shows Jacob Blake Fighting With Police
A police officer stands guard in front of a Department of Corrections building after it was set on fire during rioting in Kenosha, Wis., on Aug. 24, 2020. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Rioters on Monday night burned buildings and vehicles in Kenosha as the deployment of National Guard members failed to keep the peace.

Hundreds of people gathered in the city, upset over the Aug. 23 police shooting of Jacob Blake, ignoring a curfew and causing widespread destruction, even as Blake’s uncle urged demonstrators not to destroy their own cities and new video footage emerged to show Blake struggling with police officers before he was shot.

Videos and pictures showed mobs torching businesses, including a furniture store, and breaking into others, including a Boost Mobile location.

Armed security at a gas station were told “you not with us!” when they stopped rioters from looting.

Jorge Ventura, a Daily Caller reporter on the ground, described the scene as “absolute chaos.”

County officials had announced an emergency curfew earlier in the day, but few heeded the call to go home before 8 p.m.

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Cars burn in Kenosha, Wis., on Aug. 24, 2020. (Stephen Maturen/Reuters)
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A man stands with a “Black Lives Matter” sign near a burning garbage truck in Kenosha, Wis., on Aug. 24, 2020. (Morry Gash/AP Photo)

The Kenosha Police Department said shortly after the curfew started that multiple roadways were blocked. “STAY HOME. AVOID THE AREA,” police said in a social media alert.

Police officers and Kenosha County sheriff’s deputies clashed with demonstrators near the Kenosha County Courthouse, which rioters damaged the previous night. Tear gas and other crowd control munitions were used.

Rioters hurled bottles and shot fireworks at law enforcement officers.

Blake, 29, was shot multiple times on Sunday afternoon. Video footage captured by a bystander showed him walking to a van and reaching inside as police officers with guns drawn fired at him.

Another angle of the interaction released Monday showed Blake fighting with officers next to the vehicle, resisting arrest, before getting up and walking to try to grab something from it.

According to a criminal complaint obtained by The Epoch Times, Blake was charged last month for trespassing, third-degree sexual assault, and disorderly conduct. Blake is accused of having sex with a woman with the initials LNB on May 3 in Kenosha “without that person’s consent,” according to the complaint.

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An explosive device detonates next to police officers standing guard in front of the Kenosha County Courthouse in Kenosha, Wis., on Aug. 24, 2020. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)
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Demonstrators chant in front of a burning truck in Kenosha, Wis., on Aug. 24, 2020. (Brandon Bell/Getty Images)

The woman said Blake was her ex-boyfriend and they have three children together. She said Blake woke up her up around 6 a.m. and penetrated her before taking her vehicle and debit card. When she checked her bank account while waiting for police to arrive, she saw he had withdrawn $1,000 from ATMs.

Blake was rushed to the hospital after being shot. He was in serious condition, authorities said.

The officers involved, who were responding to a domestic incident, were placed on leave. The Wisconsin Department of Justice is investigating the shooting.

Some officials urged the public to wait for the probe to finish before jumping to conclusions about what happened, while others argued it was clear Blake should not have been shot.

Blake “was shot in the back multiple times in broad daylight,” Gov. Tony Evers, a Democrat, said in a statement issued hours after the shooting.

“While we do not have all of the details yet, 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,” he added.

“We stand with all those who have and continue to demand justice, equity, and accountability for black lives in our country—lives like those of George Floyd, of Breonna Taylor, Tony Robinson, Dontre Hamilton, Ernest Lacy, and Sylville Smith. And we stand against excessive use of force and immediate escalation when engaging with black Wisconsinites.”

Pete Deates, president of the Kenosha Professional Police Association, a police union, denounced Evers’s statement.

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Police clash with demonstrators near the Kenosha County Courthouse in Kenosha, Wis., on Aug. 24, 2020. (Morry Gash/AP Photo)
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Men walk towards law enforcement with their hands up in Kenosha, Wis., on Aug. 24, 2020. (Brendon Bell/Getty Images)

“Until that investigation is completed, we ask that you withhold prejudgment about the incident and please let the process take place. Governor Evers’s 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,” he said in a statement sent to news outlets.

“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.”

Kenosha County Executive Jim Kreuser noted the county recently declared racism a public health crisis and vowed to meet with community leaders to figure out how to respond to the shooting.

“We do not yet know many of the details of this officer-involved shooting, but we do know that it is the latest of a devastating series of events in our nation that have touched nerves and stoked fears about our relations with law enforcement, and with one another,” he said.

Justin Blake, Blake’s uncle, told a local reporter that he traveled to Kenosha after visiting with Blake at a Milwaukee hospital he was taken to by flight.

Blake said the family appreciates the support people have shown but urged them to “protest peacefully, not to be destructive.”

“We want justice, and we want proper justice,” he said.

From The Epoch Times

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