Kenosha unrest

Amid Kenosha unrest, Wisconsin suburbs become a crucial testing ground for Trump’s appeals to White grievance – The Washington Post

“It looked like a blatant assassination,” said Gacek, 48.

But Gacek’s 401(k) and his IRAs, he said, were doing quite well during President Trump’s term. He has doubled his life savings in four years and could retire now, he said. Trump brought him out of a 20-year voting hibernation in 2016 and has “pretty much” earned his vote again, despite his unease over police brutality issues that have hit close to home.

For Riley Menting, 20, recent events have only solidified her appreciation for Trump. Menting had always figured she was a Democrat because that’s what her high school friends leaned that way. And she has sympathized with the Black Lives Matter cause. Dating a police officer, though, has opened her eyes to the struggles law enforcement officers face daily, she said. Menting recently switched political allegiances.

“I honestly think that Kenosha brings me closer to Trump,” said Menting, a student at the University of Wisconsin at Whitewater. “I totally agree with protesting. I went to a protest for the BLM movement, but I don’t agree with the violence and rioting.”

Four years after Trump stunned Democrats and won Wisconsin by a margin of 22,748 votes, or less than 1 percent, the state’s suburban counties around Milwaukee are once again a critical battleground in the presidential race — and, in the aftermath of recent events down the road in Kenosha, the unexpected crossroads of the nation’s reckonings on racial justice and Trump.

In the towns and small cities near Lake Michigan, the White suburban voters who form the backbone of the Republican Party’s power base in Wisconsin are weighing the visceral White grievance appeals from the president against Democratic nominee Joe Biden’s calls for racial reconciliation. Biden has also criticized looting and violence in the wake of the shooting of Blake, who is Black, by a White officer and the arrest of a White teenager in connection with the killing of two protesters days later.

Trump will likely have to win big here to overcome an expected large turnout in Democratic cities, while Biden’s campaign is angling to eat into the suburban success Trump enjoyed here four years ago.

In a sign of the importance of Wisconsin to both campaigns, Trump and Biden each visited Kenosha last week, but with dramatically different audiences in mind — Trump, flanked by police, touring burned-out ruins of buildings destroyed during an outbreak of violence and Biden meeting with the Blake family and calling for an end to systemic racism.

On Monday, both Sen. Kamala D. Harris (D-Calif.), Biden’s running mate, and Vice President Pence will visit Wisconsin. Harris will tour a union training facility and speak with Black business leaders in Milwaukee, Pence will speak on the economy in western Wisconsin.

The eruption of civic strife has not yet yielded definitive answers about who will capture the vote-rich counties in the state’s southeastern corner, with polls showing a tight race in the state overall. But the political terrain in Wisconsin has been churning — possibly not to Biden’s benefit — with the respected Marquette Law School poll showing approval numbers for the racial justice demonstrations in the state declining from 61 percent in June to 48 percent in August. And interviews with more than a dozen voters here revealed that Trump’s efforts to present himself as the “law-and-order” candidate are hardening at least a portion of his support base.

Chatting over barbecue chicken wings at Papa Stache Pub and Eatery in Big Bend, Wis., Dawn Haag and Lori Wichman said that they both planned to vote for Trump and that the handling of the Kenosha turmoil only affirmed their decisions.

Wichman, 38, a bartender who said she voted for Barack Obama in 2008 but backed Republican Mitt Romney in 2012, attributes the rioting and property damage in Kenosha to a failure at the local level and not a lack of leadership in the White House.

“It needs to be fiercer, it needs to be just shut down,” Wichman said of the police response to rioting. “A lot of what happened was because of the state and down. It’s not under Trump’s watch. Any president cannot be in charge of everything. He gave all of the rights to all of the local authorities. He gave the governor the chance to do the right thing and [Tony] Evers did not do the right thing.”

Both were in agreement that police officer Rusten Sheskey was justified in shooting Blake seven times in the back. Blake’s family says he is paralyzed but expected to live.

“He had to make a split-second decision to protect himself, his co-workers, the public,” said Haag, 49, a bar owner. “How is that wrong? That’s what they’re trained to do.”

Biden’s efforts to win over the suburbs are complicated by a debate in the state over how Gov. Tony Evers (D), a low-key Democrat who beat GOP incumbent Scott Walker two years ago, has responded to the unrest.

Evers, whose handling of the coronavirus pandemic had lifted his approval numbers earlier this year, deployed the National Guard to Kenosha last month following incidents of arson and vandalism during protests over the Blake shooting.

But Evers’s support among Republicans has dropped as some voters have grown frustrated with his “safer at home” policies. And Trump, who has railed against Democratic governors for their handling of the virus and racial justice demonstrations, has cast himself as tougher than Evers.

“At least the governor asked me if I could,” Trump said Tuesday ahead of his trip to Wisconsin, referring to support from the National Guard. “He finally agreed to even a small number.” But Evers’s office quickly corrected Trump, noting that Evers had already activated the National Guard before Trump offered support and instead had declined Trump’s offer of involvement from the Department of Homeland Security.

Rick Steiner, 71, a retired mechanical engineer in Mount Pleasant, about 13 miles from where Blake was shot, said Evers “sucks” and described him as a “do-nothing puppet.”

Steiner’s wife, Jeanne, a retired health-care worker, said Trump appeared “personable, apologetic and nice” in his visit to Kenosha. They agreed the violence in the city probably hurt Democrats and helped Trump’s reelection bid in the eyes of their peers.

“The violence is so stupid,” Rick said over eggs at Big Apple Bagels in Hales Corners, Wis. “It didn’t prove anything. People are upset and they say, ‘Let’s go torch this car lot.’ And Democrats didn’t care about any rioting and looting until they saw that it looked bad in the polls. And then they go, ‘Oh yeah, we should probably speak out against this,’ and then they blame Trump for everything. How stupid do they think people are?”

Said Jeanne, “Even if I weren’t a prior Republican, this episode would’ve helped cinch the decision to go Trump. I don’t like everything the President does, especially with the tweeting — I mean, grow up — but the Democrats vacillate and keep changing their story and [Trump] reacts and gets things done.”

Despite the challenges, many Democrats are optimistic, pointing to Evers’s victory and the surprise win by liberal candidate Jill Karofsky in April’s election for a seat on the Wisconsin Supreme Court, held on the same day as the state’s Democratic presidential primary. Karofsky beat the conservative incumbent by 11 points, but Republicans argue that win was boosted by turnout for Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) in the primary.

State Rep. Robyn Vining (D), who won a suburban Milwaukee seat in 2018, sees a quiet shift in the region. “The fear message doesn’t resonate with suburban families,” she said. “These suburbs are moving. They don’t like the national message that we are divided, that people are completely against each other. They want to vote for a good person, from the state level to voting for president.”

Maryclaire Torinus, a retired hospice chaplain from Brookfield, Wis., said she voted for John McCain in 2008 and Romney in 2012, but couldn’t bring herself to choose between the lesser of “two evils” in 2016. “I said, well, I don’t vote for evil. I should’ve voted for Hillary [Clinton], but I voted for Governor Kasich,” she said, referring to the moderate former Ohio Republican governor John Kasich, who spoke at this year’s Democratic National Convention.

Torinus, 68, said over coffee at Einstein Bros. Bagels down the street from her home Thursday that she would never again vote Republican. “I couldn’t do it and sleep at night,” she said, pointing to this latest episode in Kenosha as Trump’s latest betrayal of his responsibilities. “It’s a photo op, just like when he stood outside of that church and held the Bible upside down. The fact that he didn’t meet with [Blake’s] family and just came to make headlines is really deplorable and unethical to me. He sows division. He encourages it.”

Torinus said she has lost friends over her anti-Trump stance, which extends to Facebook in the form of status updates. “I’m working on people. It’s Waukesha County, wealthy Republicans,” said Torinus. “I have very few friends voting for Biden, and they’ve told me to stop posting anything involved with politics. But there are also people who reach out to me privately in messages and say they would click ‘like’ on what I’m posting, but they’re afraid to because their husbands and friends are Trump voters. That gives me some hope.”

Democrats are also counting on improved turnout from Black Americans and Latino voters who did not show up for Clinton. Biden’s visit to Kenosha shows that Democrats “aren’t taking this state for granted,” said Milwaukee County Executive David Crowley, who is Black. “People see him paying attention to Wisconsin whether it’s suburban women or Black and Latina women in the city. This isn’t 2016. You’re going to see the vote come back in Milwaukee. People know what’s at stake.”

Holding together Republicans who have reservations about him will be far less of a problem for Trump this time around than in 2016, when pockets of Wisconsin Republicans, who saw themselves as “Paul Ryan conservatives” or “Scott Walker Republicans” balked at some of Trump’s comments, according to interviews with state GOP leaders.

Nowhere was that perhaps more true four years ago than Wisconsin, a state that celebrates civility and is the historic home of the Republican Party, which was founded in Ripon in 1854. But even as Trump dominates the GOP here and nationally, anti-Trump conservative commentator Charlie Sykes, a former Milwaukee-area radio host, said there are suburban Republicans who might sour on Trump in the final stretch.

“It’s so fluid right now,” Sykes said. “But this is Wisconsin, and when you have the president defending a 17-year-old shooter and vigilante violence in Portland, there is the chance of a backlash. It’s not about whether Trump wins or loses the Milwaukee suburbs, it’s about the margin, and my sense is that law and order isn’t the magic bullet he may think it is.”

Sykes acknowledged that the breakaways like himself may be few and far between. “One of the most extraordinary things about Wisconsin politics is how anti-Trump Republicans have, by and large, gotten in line,” he said.

Walker, a Trump ally who lost his bid for a third term for governor in 2018, said in an interview with The Washington Post that any unease about Trump among reliable Republican voters has dissipated.

“I, for one, didn’t know if he’d be a conservative,” Walker said of his early apprehension about Trump as a presidential candidate. “He had never held office. This is a totally different context. Conservatives see the largest tax cut, the regulatory reforms, arguably the most pro-life administration ever, excellent picks for the judiciary. Those are the things that matter to us.”

“They want to hear him make clear what happened to George Floyd was wrong, which he did, and they want to see him support what Senator Tim Scott is working on,” Walker continued, referencing the opportunity zones championed by the Senate’s lone Black Republican, who represents South Carolina and was a featured speaker at the GOP convention.

Interviews with suburbanites here suggested a less-nuanced set of criteria on the minds of voters.

Yvonne Dufresne, 59, sat outside a Waukesha bar Wednesday morning with a raspberry White Claw in hand and described the Democratic voting tendencies of her youth as a long-forgotten mistake. “If you were never a Democrat, you have no heart,” she said. “If you were never a Republican, you have no brain.”

She said she consumed much of her news from Fox News Channel, but even Fox wasn’t cutting it anymore. She recently discovered the X22 Report, a YouTube channel that traffics in far-right conspiracy theories and hawks vintage silver coins. “I follow a lot of YouTubers,” Dufresne said. “Some would call it conspiracy theories. I would not.”

Dufresne, a recently retired industrial engineer who spends half the year in the Dominican Republic and half the year in Waukesha, said the unrest in Kenosha only deepened her commitment to Trump, whom she voted for in 2016. Like several others interviewed for this story, she brought up, unprompted, some of the baseless conspiracy theories that have spread online, such as the notion that liberal billionaire philanthropist George Soros is bankrolling the protests.

“Does the name George Soros ring a bell? Kenosha’s a small ‘burg, and these people were brought in,” Dufresne said, pointing to a statistic released by the Kenosha police indicating that the majority of those arrested in Kenosha last week were from other cities. “They were heavily funded, heavily paid, and many of them don’t know what they’re doing. It’s all meant to create divisiveness and blame it on Trump.

“The Democrats were hoping that this pandemic would last through November 3 and it didn’t happen, so they went to the riots and the looting. It’s just very predictable for me.”

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Kenosha Trump

Trump to visit Kenosha despite objections of local officials – CNN

Washington (CNN)President Donald Trump is slated to visit Kenosha, Wisconsin, on Tuesday, going against the wishes of officials requesting he stay away from the city, which is still coping from the recent shooting of an unarmed Black man by law enforcement and subsequent demonstrations that have turned deadly.

The President isn’t expected to meet with the family of Jacob Blake, the man was shot in the back seven times by a police officer. Trump claimed that he’s not meeting with Blake’s family during his Wisconsin visit because they wanted to involve lawyers.
According to Trump’s public schedule, the President is expected to begin his trip Tuesday afternoon with a visit to a “property affected by recent riots.” He’s then scheduled to visit a local high school and the city’s emergency operations center. Before departing Kenosha, he’ll participate in a roundtable focused on community safety.
Trump’s visit to the swing state is another attempt to continue his campaign of linking Democrat-run cities and states to violence ahead of the November election in an attempt to paint himself as voters’ candidate for law and order.
Before boarding Air Force One Tuesday, Trump told reporters he blamed the press for fueling ongoing demonstrations across the country more than he blamed his Democratic opponent, Joe Biden.
“You people, I tell ya, if we only had an honest press in this country. It would be much more advanced. But we have a very dishonest press,” he said, later adding, “The press should be ashamed of themselves. I think the press, the media is what’s fueling this, more so than even Biden, ’cause Biden doesn’t know he’s alive.”
Wisconsin Republican Sen. Ron Johnson tweeted that he will welcome the President in his home state. But other officials in the state have warned against the trip.
Wisconsin Democratic Gov. Tony Evers asked Trump to not visit Kenosha as the city works to heal and to prevent diverting local resources for a presidential visit.
And Kenosha Mayor John Antaramian, a Democrat, told CNN’s Pamela Brown on “Erin Burnett OutFront” Monday that he is disappointed that the President is coming.
“Our community has gone through a great deal and there is no time right now for politics to be played. We would prefer the President had waited at least another week or so before coming to visit,” Antaramian said. “The President is always welcome. But at this time, it’s just the wrong time.”
The mayor offered little information about the details of the upcoming visit, but did say he does not expect to be part of discussions with Trump.
Jim Kreuser, the Kenosha County Executive, has echoed similar sentiments, and the Kenosha County Sheriff, David Beth, said a visit by any major figure will create extra work for the department.
Biden has said he’s considering a visit to Wisconsin.
Biden’s advisers are discussing a possible visit as soon as this week, a source with knowledge of the discussions said, adding that the situation remains fluid.
Antaramian has said he also would like Biden to wait a week before visiting.

Refusing to condemn right-wing agitators

Trump in recent weeks has repeatedly pointed to at times violent demonstrations following incidents of police violence against Black people to claim that such unrest would be inflamed if Biden is elected.
He’s also largely ignored the anguish expressed nationwide by many Americans. On Monday, Trump said the demonstrations against police brutality seen across the country were not “peaceful protests,” but “anarchy.”
But Trump has not acknowledged whether his visit could embolden violence by right-wing vigilantes and agitators.
On Monday, he refused to denounce the violent actions by right-wing agitators at demonstrations in Portland and Wisconsin, including Kyle Rittenhouse, a 17-year-old vigilante who killed two protesters and injured another in Kenosha.
Trump said Rittenhouse “probably would have been killed” had he not fatally shot two protesters.
Asked if he agreed with armed vigilantes like Rittenhouse taking to the streets, Trump said he’d “like to see law enforcement take care of everything,” but didn’t condemn vigilantism.
He also argued that his supporters spraying a form of pepper spray and firing paintballs at protesters over the weekend were using them as “a defensive mechanism” when they rolled through the streets of Portland.
“They had large numbers of people that were supporters, but that was a peaceful protest,” Trump said in a response to a question from CNN’s Kaitlan Collins, “and paint is not — and paint as a defensive mechanism. Paint is not bullets.”
This story has been updated with additional developments Tuesday.

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Kenosha Militia

A Kenosha Militia Facebook Event Asking Attendees To Bring Weapons Was Reported 455 Times. Moderators Said It Didn’t Violate Any Rules. – BuzzFeed News

CEO Mark Zuckerberg said that the reason the militia page and an associated event remained online after a shooting that killed two people was due to “an operational mistake.”

Posted on August 28, 2020, at 6:45 p.m. ET

In a companywide meeting on Thursday, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said that a militia page advocating for followers to bring weapons to an upcoming protest in Kenosha, Wisconsin, remained on the platform because of “an operational mistake.” The page and an associated event inspired widespread criticism of the company after a 17-year-old suspect allegedly shot and killed two protesters Tuesday night.

The event associated with the Kenosha Guard page, however, was flagged to Facebook at least 455 times after its creation, according to an internal report viewed by BuzzFeed News, and had been cleared by four moderators, all of whom deemed it “non-violating.” The page and event were eventually removed from the platform on Wednesday — several hours after the shooting.

“To put that number into perspective, it made up 66% of all event reports that day.”

“To put that number into perspective, it made up 66% of all event reports that day,” one Facebook worker wrote in the internal “Violence and Incitement Working Group” to illustrate the number of complaints the company had received about the event.

BuzzFeed News could not verify the content on the militia page or its associated event because they had been removed from the platform. A previous story from the Verge noted that the page had issued a “call to arms” and hosted a number of commenters advocating for violence in Kenosha following the police shooting of 29-year-old Black man Jacob Blake.

A Facebook spokesperson declined to comment.

The internal report seen by BuzzFeed News reveals the extent to which concerned Facebook users went to warn the company of a group calling for public violence, and how the company failed to act. “The event is highly unusual in retrospect,” reads the report, which notes that the next highest event for the day had been flagged 18 times by users compared to the 455 times of the Kenosha Guard event.

After militia gathered in Kenosha on Tuesday night, a 17-year-old with a rifle allegedly killed two protesters. Facebook has maintained that the suspect, whose Facebook and Instagram profiles were taken down after the incident, had no direct connection with the Kenosha Guard page or event.

Do you work at Facebook or another technology company? We’d love to hear from you. Reach out at or via one of our tip line channels.

During Facebook’s Thursday all-hands meeting, Zuckerberg said that the images from Wisconsin were “painful and really discouraging,” before acknowledging that the company had made a mistake in not taking the Kenosha Guard page and event down sooner. The page had violated Facebook’s new rules introduced last week that labeled militia and QAnon groups as “Dangerous Individuals and Organizations” for their celebrations of violence.

The company did not catch the page despite user reports, Zuckerberg said, because the complaints had been sent to content moderation contractors who were not versed in “how certain militias” operate. “On second review, doing it more sensitively, the team that was responsible for dangerous organizations recognized that this violated the policies and we took it down.”

During the talk, Facebook employees hammered Zuckerberg for continuing to allow the spread of hatred on the platform.

Provided to BuzzFeed News

One Facebook user received this response after trying to report the Kenosha Guard Facebook page noting that it did not “go against one of our specific Community Standards.”

“At what point do we take responsibility for enabling hate filled bile to spread across our services?” wrote one employee. “[A]nti semitism, conspiracy, and white supremacy reeks across our services.”

The internal report seen by BuzzFeed News sheds more light on Facebook’s failure.

“Organizers… advocated for attendees to bring weapons to an event in the event description,” the internal report reads. “There are multiple news articles about our delay in taking down the event.”

One Facebook user who flagged the Kenosha Guard page “for a credible threat of violence” was told “it doesn’t go against one of our specific Community Standards,” according to a screenshot they sent to BuzzFeed News.

In addition to the four manual reviews that determined the Kenosha Guard page to be non-violative, the Facebook report also noted a number of reviews that “were handled by automation” had reached the same conclusion. As part of a proposed change, the Facebook employee writing the report said that the company should monitor spikes in feedback reports for events and “trigger investigation immediately given this has proved to be a good signal for imminent harm.”

The report seems to acknowledge that Facebook was late to act.

“This post provides more details around what happened and changes we are making to detect and investigate similar events sooner,” the worker wrote. “This is a sobering reminder of the importance of the work we do, especially during this charged period.”

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Kenosha Police

Kenosha shooting suspect is a former member of a youth police cadet program, Illinois police say – CNN

(CNN)The suspect in the Kenosha, Wisconsin, fatal shooting is a former member of a youth police cadet program with an affinity for guns, according to police and online profiles.

Antioch, Illinois, police identified the suspect Wednesday as 17-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse.
In Grayslake, Illinois — about 10 miles from Antioch and 30 miles from Kenosha — police chief Phillip L. Perlini said the suspect in the shooting was a former Public Safety Cadet.
That program is described online as offering youth the opportunity to explore careers in law enforcement. Due to the person’s age and state law, the chief said the department couldn’t comment further.
He was arrested Wednesday and charged with first-degree intentional homicide, Antioch police said in a news release. He remains in custody of the Lake County Judicial System awaiting extradition to Wisconsin, the release said.
He has been charged in a single shooting incident, during a night of unrest Tuesday in which two people were killed and a third was seriously injured, Kenosha police said.
Police have not said who is responsible for committing all of the shootings, and they have not provided details on the incident Rittenhouse is charged with.
The victims have been identified as a 26-year-old from Silver Lake, Wisconsin, and a 36-year-old from Kenosha. The shooting happened amid protests over the police shooting of Jacob Blake.
Videos that circulated on social media show a person with a long gun running down a street, followed by a crowd. The individual falls to the ground and appears to begin firing. Several shots are heard.

What his social media shows

Online profiles seemingly belonging to the suspect portray a young white man with an affinity for guns, who is pro-police and a supporter of the President.
A video posted on a Snapchat account believed to belong to the suspect placed him at the scene of protests Tuesday night. The clips show a few seconds of the point of view of someone carrying a long rifle and police announcements can be heard over loudspeakers.
In videos posted to a TikTok account, individuals can be seen taking part in target practice and assembling a long rifle.
Rittenhouse also posted a short video from a Trump rally earlier this year in Des Moines, Iowa, on one of his TikTok accounts. President Donald Trump is not shown in the video.
Departing Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway responded to reports that the accused shooter charged with killing at least one person in Wisconsin allegedly attended a Trump rally in January. Conway said she was aware of the media reports, but that the White House is “not responsible for the private conduct of people who go to rallies.”

Sheriff says he was asked to deputize citizens

In a news conference following the shooting, Kenosha County Sheriff David Beth said he had received requests from community members to deputize citizens to aid police in responding to the protests.
“What happened last night […] was probably the perfect reason why I wouldn’t,” Beth said. “Once I deputize somebody they fall under the Constitution of the state of Wisconsin.”
The sheriff said deputizing citizens would be a liability to him, the county and the state.
“A group wanted me to deputize people that were carrying guns, this person was carrying a gun,” Beth said, referring to the suspect arrested for the shooting.
“He could have been part of it.”
In a statement, Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul condemned the violence.
“While the two people who were killed and the person who was injured by gunfire have not yet been identified, we are thinking of their destroyed futures and their friends and families that must live with this overwhelming grief,” the statement said.
He said the community deserved a chance to heal and called for “heavily armed vigilantes, arsonists, and other opportunists” who came to Kenosha to “spur chaos” to leave.
“If those engaging in violence and destruction of property believe they are furthering some broader goal, they are wrong,” Kaul said.
On Rittenhouse’s Facebook profile and TikTok bio there are references to “Blue Lives Matter.”
In a post on December 22, 2018, he said that for his birthday he was asking for donations for a non-profit called, “Humanizing the Badge,” along with a post that said the group sought to “forge stronger relationships between law enforcement officers and the communities they serve.”

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becomes Kenosha

Kenosha becomes center of nationwide protests after police shoot Black man in front of his children – CNN

(CNN)Police responded with force overnight as demonstrators torched cars and set buildings ablaze in Kenosha, Wisconsin, demanding justice in the shooting of Jacob Blake.

Protesters disobeyed an 8 p.m. (9 p.m. ET) Monday curfew, facing off with law enforcement outside the Kenosha County Courthouse, some tossing water bottles and setting off fireworks, according to CNN affiliate WISN. Two city trucks were among the vehicles burned.
Law enforcement responded with flash bangs, tear gas and rubber bullets, the station reported.
Police shot Blake, a 29-year-old Black man, at close range Sunday evening as he tried to enter an SUV. In the vehicle were his 3-, 5- and 8-year-old sons, family attorney Ben Crump said.
Following the shooting, the injured man was flown to a hospital in Milwaukee. He remained in intensive care late Monday, his lawyer said.
“Thank God he’s alive,” Jacob Blake’s uncle, Justin Blake, told CNN. “We’re just praying for a great recovery, that he may have a great quality of life and that his father, my brother, can enjoy him.”

Only police reform will stop protests, Crump says

Enraged protesters poured onto the streets Sunday evening after video of the shooting circulated on social media. In it, two officers trail a step or two behind Blake as he walks around a gray SUV. As he reaches the driver door and opens it, the nearest officer grabs the tail of Blake’s tank top, and seven shots are heard, followed by a sustained sound of a car horn as Blake collapses into the car.
Two Kenosha officers are on administrative leave. The local police union has urged the public to withhold judgment until a state investigation is complete.
The shooting came as demonstrators continue to decry police violence in American cities, including the encounters that killed George Floyd and Breonna Taylor. The night before Blake’s shooting, protests erupted in Lafayette, Louisiana, after police killed a Black man — Trayford Pellerin, 31 — outside a convenience store.
“If we don’t have the systematic reform that this moment in America is crying out for, then we are going to continue to see hashtag after hashtag, protest after protest, and cities burning all across America,” Crump said.
Several businesses were burning late Monday in Kenosha, and Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers called in the National Guard to help “protect critical infrastructure, such as utilities and fire stations and to ensure Kenoshians are able to assemble safely,” he said.
Protesters also marched in New York City, Washington DC and Minneapolis, where at least five people were arrested.
“We will continue showing up until they’re tired of killing us,” a Manhattan protester told CNN affiliate WLNY.

Investigation into police conduct begins

Kenosha County District Attorney Michael Graveley’s office is investigating the shooting, as is the Wisconsin Justice Department’s division of criminal investigation. The agency plans to present a report to Graveley’s office within 30 days, it said.
“We’re asked to make two determinations,” Graveley said. “One, did any office in this case commit any crimes, and two, are there any crimes that we believe were committed that we can prove beyond a reasonable doubt?”
If the answer is yes to both questions, Graveley will file charges, he said.
Graveley also hopes federal prosecutors will conduct a parallel civil rights investigation into Blake’s shooting and “prosecute any alleged police misconduct,” he said.
That investigation will “allow this community to heal sooner because independent prosecuting agencies will be able to make determinations at the same time,” Graveley said.

Attorney: Blake was breaking up fight

Just after 5 p.m. Sunday, officers responded to a domestic disturbance call in the city of 100,000 located on the Lake Michigan shoreline between Chicago and Milwaukee,
It’s unclear who called 911 or what happened before the video of the shooting begins. In a police call, a dispatcher says Blake “isn’t supposed to be there,” and that he took a complainant’s keys and refused to leave. The dispatcher later explains she doesn’t have more details because the caller was “uncooperative.”
Crump, who also represents many families whose loved ones were shot by police, including Floyd’s, said Blake was leaving the scene after “breaking up a fight between two women.”
Raysean White, who filmed the video that’s been viewed millions of times, said two women were arguing when Blake arrived and ordered one of his sons into a vehicle. Blake then walked into a home behind a woman, White said.
White, who was across the street, stepped away and when he returned saw police wrestling with Blake before one of the officers deployed his Taser on Blake, he said. He doesn’t know what started the argument and began filming what he called the middle and end of the altercation.
“Jacob kind of leaned on the car and they proceeded to wrestle him toward the back of the car, and he went to the other side of the car,” White told CNN. “When they were on the other side of the car on the ground, I had to pick up my camera and start recording.”
The dispatcher’s report of shots fired came about five minutes after the initial report. According to Crump, police had already used a Taser on Blake before the shooting. It’s unclear from the video if both officers opened fire. The second officer has his gun out as the shots are heard, the video clip shows.
“As always, the video currently circulating does not capture all the intricacies of a highly dynamic incident. We ask that you withhold from passing judgment until all the facts are known and released,” said Pete Deates, president of the Kenosha Professional Police Association.

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Kenosha Police

Kenosha police shoot man; video of incident appears to show officer firing several shots into his back at close range – Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Published 8:24 p.m. CT Aug. 23, 2020 | Updated 6:00 a.m. CT Aug. 24, 2020


Kenosha police shot a man Sunday evening, setting off unrest in the city. A video showed the officer firing several shots into the man’s back.

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Kenosha police shot a man Sunday evening, setting off unrest in the city after a video appeared to show the officer firing several shots at close range into the man’s back.

The shooting victim has been identified as Jacob Blake, a Black man, by Wisconsin officials. He was in serious condition at Froedtert Hospital in Milwaukee as of early Monday morning.

The Wisconsin Department of Justice’s Division of Criminal Investigation said early Monday that the involved officers have been placed on administrative leave.

More: Several fires burning in Kenosha as unrest continues after police officer shoots Black man

Police had been called to a domestic incident in the 2800 block of 40th Street at 5:11 p.m. where the shooting later occurred.

Officers provided immediate aid to the shooting victim, Kenosha police reported, and he was taken by Flight for Life to Froedtert.

“Tonight, Jacob Blake was shot in the back multiple times, in broad daylight,” Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers said in a statement. “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.”

The Kenosha News reported that neighbors said Blake was trying to break up a fight between two women. Bystanders said he was Tased and then shot several times.

A video circulating on social media shows a man in a white shirt and black shorts walking to a gray van, followed by two male police officers with weapons drawn. The video does not show what happened before the man walked away from the officers, nor what was said, if anything.

As the man opens the door to get in, an officer grabs his shirt to hold him still, then appears to shoot him in the back at close range. Seven shots are heard, followed by a car horn, presumably from the man’s head falling forward. A woman who followed behind the police can be seen screaming and jumping up and down.


Kenosha police shot a man Sunday evening, setting off unrest in the city after a video appeared to show the officer firing several shots at close range into the man’s back.

The shooting victim has been identified by Wisconsin officials as Jacob Blake, a Black man.


Kenosha police requested Wisconsin State Patrol and Kenosha County Sheriff’s deputies come to the scene because the shooting involved an officer. 

The Division of Criminal Investigation said in a news release early Monday morning that it will try to provide a report of the incident to the prosector within 30 days.

“DCI is continuing to review evidence and determine the facts of this incident and will turn over investigative reports to a prosecutor following a complete and thorough investigation,” the release said. 

Civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump shared a video from the incident on Twitter. He also said Blake’s three sons were in the car when Blake was shot. 

“They saw a cop shoot their father,” Crump tweeted. “They will be traumatized forever. We cannot let officers violate their duty to PROTECT us. Our kids deserve better!!”

Confirmed: Jacob Blake’s 3 SONS were IN THE CAR he was getting into when @KenoshaPolice shot him tonight. They saw a cop shoot their father. They will be traumatized forever. We cannot let officers violate their duty to PROTECT us. Our kids deserve better!! #JusticeForJacobBlake

— Ben Crump (@AttorneyCrump) August 24, 2020

Crump represents the family of George Floyd, a Black man who died at the knee of a fired Minneapolis police officer on Memorial Day. He also is backing the family of Joel Acevedo, who died after being put into a chokehold by an off-duty Milwaukee police officer at a party.

Large crowds soon gathered at the scene of the shooting, and protests and unrest, including several fires, continued into the early hours of Monday.

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