News and Commentary

Protesters In Kenosha Torched ‘Much Of The Black Business District’

"It’s people from out of town doing this"
KENOSHA, WISCONSIN, USA - AUGUST 24: Jacob Blake protesters lit buildings on fire in Kenosha, Wisconsin, United States on August 24, 2020. A police shooting in the US state of Wisconsin sent a Black man into serious condition on Sunday, with the video footage of the incident triggering outrage.
Yayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Protesters ended up torching many black-owned businesses when they went on a rampage over the weekend in Kenosha, Wisconsin, after police shot Jacob Blake, who is black.

“Arsonists set buildings ablaze and torched much of the Black business district in Kenosha, Wisconsin, during a second night of unrest sparked by the wounding of a Black man shot in the back by police as his three young sons looked on,” Reuters reported on Tuesday. It continued:

Local police, who had support from National Guard troops, fired tear gas, rubber bullets and smoke bombs to disperse the crowd, which grew to several hundred, according to protester Porche Bennett, 31, of Kenosha. Fires destroyed much of the Black business district, Bennett said, adding that the instigators she saw were white. “It’s people from out of town doing this. We’ve been shopping there since we were kids and they set it on fire,” Bennett said.

A graphic video has been making the rounds on social media, depicting Blake walking around the front of an SUV and getting into the driver’s side when police opened fire.

But another video, taken from a different angle, appears to show Blake “was involved in a brawl with several Kenosha cops moments before the shooting,” the Daily Mail reported on Tuesday. “In the latest video, Blake is seen wrestling with at least two Kenosha police officers.”

Blake then manages to break free from the mayhem and begins to walk from the passenger’s side of his SUV to the driver’s side. As he opens the driver’s side door, gunshots ring out. The video ends there.

Blake, 29, remains in intensive care following surgery, civil rights attorney Ben Crump, who represents the Blake family, told ABC News on Tuesday. The officers involved in the shooting have been placed on administrative leave.

Armed business owners took to the streets on Tuesday night to protect their businesses.

“We’re out here trying to protect residents, we’re trying to protect the innocent people and we’re trying to protect the businesses of the citizens out here,” one owner said, according to Shelby Talcott, a media reporter for the Daily Caller.

A second man guarding the business yelled back at the crowd and said he was on their side. “You can’t burn down your local businesses!” he yelled. “The owner of this business is probably out here with them. They’re destroying their own neighborhood! Go f*** up the government that just killed your man … I’m just a guy. I’m just a f***ing guy,” the second man added.

Reuters reported that “social media images showed both white and Black agitators. Black men swinging baseball bats broke traffic signals and street lamps. White and Black men bashed a row of cars. One white man riding a skateboard doused a government truck with an accelerant and set it on fire. Heavily armed white civilians stood guard in front of businesses.”

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