Rioting and looting broke out in Wisconsin on Sunday night after an African-American suspect was shot and wounded while resisting arrest. Black Lives Matter demonstrators were armed and the police had to use tear gas to disperse the mob.
Rioters armed with semi-automatic guns in the city of Kenosha intimidated officers while blocking traffic. An officer was knocked unconscious by the mob. The Unitarian-Universalist Bradford Community Church, was almost set on fire despite boasting a Black Lives Matter sign on the facade.
Rioters set an entire car dealership on fire. Several shops were looted and dozens of shop windows were broken.
The fresh wave of rioting was triggered over police shooting wanted black felon Jacob Blake. Blake made a dash for his vehicle as police were ordering him to stop resisting arrest. Video footage of the shooting clearly shows Blake defying police orders and attempting to get into his car either to get a firearm or to flee. But the tweets showing the contextual clip have already been taken down by Twitter.
According to the latest census data, Kenosha’s population of 169 000 is 76 percent white and only 7 percent black. It is a small prosperous city with museums and cultural attractions, unlike Chicago, Baltimore, or Portland.
But because it has become impossible to enforce the law against African Americans, the city succumbed to arson and violence.
A recent study showed police officers are more hesitant to shoot black suspects than white suspects.
The officers involved have been given temporary leave, said Wisconsin’s senior attorney at law Josh Kaul (Democratic Party). “We don’t know all the details yet, but what we do know for sure is that he is not the first black man to be shot, injured or mercilessly killed at the hands of people in law enforcement in our state or country,” said Wisconsin’s Governor Tony Evers (Democratic Party). Evers promised that those responsible would be held accountable.
Meanwhile, there have been repeated riots in Portland as well. The police spoke of a “riot” on Sunday. Law enforcement called for people to leave. Rioters had previously damaged several patrol cars, thrown glass bottles and other objects at the officers and blinded them with lasers.
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