National Guard assist as rioters torch Wisconsin city a second night; businesses looted, burned…decimated

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Police and protesters clashed for a second night in Kenosha, Wis., following a shooting on Sunday involving white officers and a black man who reached into his vehicle after ignoring their commands.

The clashes began after rioters took to the streets Monday evening, setting large fires, destroying property and looting businesses, the Kenosha News reported.

Authorities reported fires being set in both uptown and downtown portions of the city of about 100,000 people situated just over the Illinois border on Lake Michigan.

The violence began after an incident Sunday evening involving three Kenosha police officers and Jacob Blake, 29. The officers were called to a domestic disturbance and, according to a viral video posted online, at some point felt it necessary to draw their weapons.

In the video, Blake is seen ignoring officers’ commands as he walks away from them and opens the driver’s side door of a vehicle, reaching inside. An officer can be seen attempting to grab him by the shirt shortly before firing seven shots.

The shooting sparked riots and looting later Sunday, violence that began to reoccur Monday night.

“Trucks and street lights were targets, as well as businesses,” the Kenosha News reported. “National Guard troops assisted law enforcement including Kenosha Police, Kenosha County Sheriff’s and Pleasant Prairie Police departments among others.”

Separately, Fox News reported that Democratic Gov. Tony Evers, who has already condemned the officers involved in the shooting, deployed 125 National Guard troops to assist police in preventing the kind of destruction that occurred Sunday night.

But that didn’t seem to matter.

Images and videos taken throughout the evening and posted online show massive fires and more of the same kind of looting and destruction seen the night before.

According to Stephanie Haines, a reporter for TMJ4, downtown Kenosha was filled with smoke throughout the evening.

There were many other scenes of destruction and violence.

https://twitter.com/SVNewsAlerts/status/1298116686097321985

City officials implemented an 8 p.m. curfew, but it was blatantly ignored.

At one point, the Wisconsin Department of Corrections was set ablaze, and as firefighters battled the flames, onlookers watched as the Danish Brotherhood Lodge was set afire and burned.

One shotgun-bearing witness and shop owner to the lodge fire told reporters that rioters threw “firebombs” at the building to set it off.

“Moments later, a hissing sound came from the direction of the building and several people ran as it exploded, the rubble and gray dust scattering all over the street. A building alarm could be heard going off continuously. A woman screamed and sobbing could be heard nearby,” the Kenosha News reported.

Some residents of the city armed themselves and moved in to protect some businesses, as video showed.

One woman is seen screaming at an armed man after he said he supported protests but not the burning and looting of businesses.

Not everyone was down for the looting and destruction, however.

Earlier Monday, Democratic Mayor John Antaramian was shouted down and mobbed by protesters as he attempted to address them. Police in riot gear were forced to intervene with tear gas and batons so he could enter the Public Safety Building and give a press conference.

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Jon Dougherty

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