Riots -- Kenosha, Wisconsin Locals Attempt to Clean Wreckage

A man walks by as riots turn into fires after a black man, identified as Jacob Blake, was shot by police, Kenosha, Wis., August 24, 2020. (Stephen Maturen/Reuters)

Following the police shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wis., on Sunday evening, the small city was subjected to looting, riots, and arson on Monday.

On Tuesday night, two people were shot dead and one wounded in Kenosha, where armed men had gathered to protect property. 

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports

Social media footage appears to show at least three people were shot. 

A widely shared video shows a man sprinting into a car lot at 63th Street and Sheridan Road, carrying a long gun. Someone pursuing him appears to throw something toward him. Multiple gunshots are heard.

Another video, posted to Twitter by Shelby Talcott of the Daily Caller, shows a gunshot victim lying in the parking lot. The victim, who appears to be the man who had been pursuing the gunman, has been shot in the head. Bystanders were applying pressure to the wound.

On Tuesday, Wisconsin governor Tony Evers deployed 250 members of the National Guard to assist 250 local law enforcement agents. But the Washington Post reports that in downtown Kenosha on Tuesday night “the only law enforcement presence was once again around the Kenosha County Courthouse, where an eight-foot-high fence was erected around the building.”

The Journal Sentinel reported on Tuesday night that Evers declined an offer of federal assistance:

“We have a National Guard standing by that if the general for the National Guard needs additional help, we’re there to do it,” [White House chief of staff Mark] Meadows said. “But today, that request was denied by the governor.”

The Democratic governor deployed the National Guard to Kenosha on Monday and doubled the size of the deployment to 250 on Tuesday. 

On Tuesday, Evers did speak with both Meadows and Trump but Meadows was offering help from the Department of Homeland Security, not the National Guard, according to the Evers administration. Evers declined because more Guard members were already been sent there.

“The governor informed them that we would be increasing Wisconsin National Guard support in Kenosha and therefore would not need federal assistance in response to protests but would welcome additional federal support and resources for our state’s response to COVID-19,” Evers spokeswoman Britt Cudaback said.

The Kenosha County board of supervisors wrote a letter Wednesday morning to Governor Evers “formally asking for 1,500 National Guard members with police powers to be sent to Kenosha County immediately.”

“Our county is under attack. Our businesses are under attack. Our homes are under attack,” the county officials said in their letter to Evers. 

Kenosha, a city with a population of 100,000, is located an hour north of Chicago and 45 minutes south of Milwaukee. There is the very real potential the situation on the ground could get even worse.

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