Scenes of destruction; rioting, burning and violence follow officer-involved shooting in Wisconsin

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City officials in Kenosha, Wis., imposed a curfew until 7 a.m. Monday after rioting resulted in destruction and violence following an officer-involved shooting of a black suspect.

Scenes of destruction were posed to social media as police battled to regain control of the streets after an incident involving resident Jacob Blake, who was shot by officers a number of times as he leaned into a vehicle.

A video of the shooting was retweeted by San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro (D), who immediately questioned the officers’ actions without any first-hand knowledge of the incident.

**Warning: Extremely graphic

As the video shows, and for reasons as yet unknown, three Kenosha police officers on the scene had drawn their weapons and were pointing them at Blake, who appeared to ignore their commands as he walked around to the driver’s side of his vehicle, opened the driver’s door and reached inside.

As word of the shooting spread, riots and other acts of violence ensued. Businesses downtown were set ablaze, ranging from smaller shops and stores to automobile dealerships.

In one chaotic scene, a police officer goes down after apparently being struck by an object. A voice in the video can be heard saying, “He got bricked,” suggesting that he was struck by a brick. Others in the video are seen clapping and cheering after hearing that an officer was struck.

**Warning: Extreme violence and strong language

More scenes of chaos were documented by local reporters.

The Kenosha Police Department released a statement after the incident saying that officers were called to a neighborhood for a domestic incident. The department also said that the scene was turned over to other law enforcement agencies so they could independently investigate.

In addition, the department said the Wisconsin Department of Justice will conduct a probe into the incident.

Gov. Tony Evers, a Democrat, appears to have already reached the conclusion that the incident was racially motivated and suggested that officers were in the wrong.

“Tonight, Jacob Blake was shot in the back multiple times, in broad daylight, in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Kathy and I join his family, friends, and neighbors in hoping earnestly that he will not succumb to his injuries,” Evers wrote on Twitter.

“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 continued. “And we stand against excessive use of force and immediate escalation when engaging with Black Wisconsinites.”

“I have said all along that although we must offer our empathy, equally important is our action. In the coming days, we will demand just that of elected officials in our state who have failed to recognize the racism in our state and our country for far too long,” Evers concluded.

A 2015 report from the Racine County Eye noted that an individual named Jacob Blake and fitting the description of the man wounded by Kenosha police was arrested after brandishing a handgun at a drinking establishment and pointing it at customers.

The outlet also claimed he faced a felony count for injuring a police officer.

“Jacob Blake, 24, of Racine, was charged Monday in Racine County Circuit Court with one felony count of resisting arrest causing a soft tissue injury to a police officer and one misdemeanor count each of carrying a concealed weapon, carrying a firearm while intoxicated, endangering safety-use of a dangerous weapon, and disorderly conduct. If convicted, he will face up to 8-1/2 years in prison and/or up to $50,000 in fines,” the outlet reported.

The outlet reported that Blake resisted arrest at that time as well and refused officers’ commands.

“Believing the driver was armed, police conducted a high risk traffic stop, the complaint reads, and ordered Blake to put his hands out the window of the vehicle. Instead, Blake exited the SUV and started walking toward officers and ignored commands to get down on the ground,” the report reads. “Officers forced Blake to the ground and ordered him to put his hands behind his back. When Blake refused to comply, K9 Dozer was deployed to force the defendant into compliance.”


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