Aug. 24: Multiple Confrontations Between Police And Protesters In Kenosha
Kenosha police shot a Black man multiple times on Sunday, setting off a night of protests and unrest in the city. The shooting victim was identified by Gov. Tony Evers as Jacob Blake. Police say Blake was taken to a hospital in Milwaukee and was in serious condition.
WUWM is providing updates as events unfold and information on the incident is released.
Tuesday, 8:16 a.m.: Several Buildings Set On Fire Monday Evening
At 11 p.m. Monday, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported several buildings had been set on fire in Kenosha— including a Wisconsin Department of Corrections Building.
- Michelle Maternowski
Monday, 9:48 p.m.: Multiple Confrontations Between Police And Protesters
Police deployed tears gas against protesters multiple times outside of the Kenosha County Courthouse Monday night, according to livestream videos and accounts from reporters on the ground. Police also appeared to have used rubber bullets in an attempt to disperse the crowd. There was a fire near the police line.
The protests sparked by the police shooting of Jacob Blake continued past Kenosha’s 8 p.m. curfew. Police in riot gear formed lines in front of the courthouse, where many of the protesters were gathered. Video streams from the scene show demonstrators throwing water bottles at police, and police then firing tear gas toward the crowds. The Wisconsin National Guard was there supporting local law enforcement.
- Emily Files
8:53 p.m.: Law Enforcement Uses Tear Gas To Disperse Protesters
Protests prompted by the police shooting of Jacob Blake continued in Kenosha past the 8 p.m. county curfew.
According to tweets and live video streams from the scene, law enforcement used tear gas around 8:30 p.m. to disperse protesters gathered at the Kenosha County Courthouse.
- Emily Files
4:37 p.m.: As Tensions Flare, Kenosha Mayor Says No Body Cams, We Need To 'Learn To Listen'
Tensions flared anew on Monday when a news conference with Kenosha Mayor John Antarmian, originally to be held in a park, was moved inside the city’s public safety building. Hundreds of protesters rushed to the building and a door was snapped off its hinges before police in riot gear pepper-sprayed the crowd, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported.
Antarmian said Kenosha police do not currently wear body cameras, but they are budgeted for 2022. The police do have dash cameras, but he's unsure if there is footage from this incident.
When WUWM asked the mayor how protesters and police and city officials can get to a point where they’re able to hear each other, he responded:
"We need to find ways to communicate, find ways of being compassionate with each other and willing to listen to each other. And, that's, I think, probably the toughest part we are dealing with right now," Antarmian said. "People are mad, people are upset and ... there are a lot of good reasons for that. But in the end, the only way this country and this community survives is if we learn to listen. And right now, I'm afraid we're having trouble doing that."
- Associated Press, Michelle Maternowski, Lauren Sigfusson
3:22 p.m.: Milwaukee Police Association Says Evers 'Pushing A False Ideology'
In response to Gov. Tony Evers' statement about Sunday’s police shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, the Milwaukee Police Association says Evers “appears to be pushing a narrative that completely disrespects law enforcement in our state. As the governor of Wisconsin, his duty should be to collect all the details before pushing a false ideology.”
Evers tweeted, "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."
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.— Governor Tony Evers (@GovEvers) August 24, 2020
According to the Kenosha News, Kenosha Professional Police Association President Pete Deates said in a statement:
"Until that investigation is completed, we ask that you withhold prejudgment about the incident and please the let process take place. Governor Evers’ statement on the incident was wholly irresponsible and not reflective of the hardworking members of the law enforcement community, not to mention the citizens of the City of Kenosha."
- Lauren Sigfusson
2:12 p.m.: Wisconsin National Guard Sent To Kenosha
Gov. Tony Evers said Monday that at the request of local officials, he authorized members of the Wisconsin National Guard to support Kenosha law enforcement. The deployment comes after protests and unrest Sunday night in response to the police shooting of Jacob Blake.
In a statement, Evers said the National Guard would “help protect critical infrastructure and maintain public safety,” but would not be used to impede peaceful protesters or the media’s ability to report.
According to the Associated Press, Evers said 125 members of the National Guard will be deployed to Kenosha.
Kenosha County will have a curfew in effect beginning Monday at 8 p.m.
- Emily Files, Lauren Sigfusson
2:02 p.m.: Evers Calls Special Session On Police Reform
Evers’ action was spurred by the Sunday police shooting of a Black man in Kenosha, identified by the governor as Jacob Blake. A video shows police shooting Blake as he tries to get into his car, with his back turned to officers. It prompted outrage locally and across the county. According to reports, Blake is hospitalized and in recovery.
“This felt like some sort of vendetta being taken out on a member of our community,” said Wisconsin Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes, the state’s first Black lieutenant governor.
Barnes and Evers spoke during a press conference Monday afternoon about the need to address racism and inequities faced by Black Wisconsinites. Evers said the Aug. 31 special session dealing with policing bills was the first step.
“We must begin the long but important path towards ensuring our state and country starts to live up to our promise of equity and justice,” Evers said. “I’m urging Republican leadership to rise to this important moment in history — to put people before politics and to put the lives of Black Wisconsinites above politics.”
Evers originally introduced the police-related bills in June, following widespread Black Lives Matter protests. The Republican-led Legislature did not convene to discuss the proposals.
Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, R-Rochester, released his own proposal shortly before Evers’ press conference Monday. Vos said he would create a task force “focusing on racial disparities, educational opportunities, public safety, and police policies and standards.”
Vos criticized Evers on Twitter, saying "We have an opportunity to bring people together to find solutions. Instead, the governor is choosing to turn to politics again by dictating liberal policies that will only deepen the divisions in our state."
We have an opportunity to bring people together to find solutions. Instead, the governor is choosing to turn to politics again by dictating liberal policies that will only deepen the divisions in our state. (2/2)— Speaker Robin Vos (@SpeakerVos) August 24, 2020
- Emily Files
1:19 p.m.: Baldwin, Johnson Release Statements On Jacob Blake Shooting
U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., released a statement Monday on Sunday's shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha.
“I support a full and thorough investigation into the events leading up to yesterday’s officer-involved shooting in Kenosha. While emotions are understandably running high in the Kenosha community and elsewhere, I urge any demonstrators to remain peaceful and give our justice system the opportunity to work," he said in the statement.
While emotions are understandably running high in the Kenosha community and elsewhere, I urge any demonstrators to remain peaceful and give our justice system the opportunity to work.— Senator Ron Johnson (@SenRonJohnson) August 24, 2020
U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis., also released a statement.
- Lauren Sigfusson
12:20 p.m.: Kenosha Officials Order Curfew For Second Night
The Kenosha County Sheriff’s Department announced an 8 p.m. curfew for the second night in a row Monday. The curfew follows unrest in Kenosha after the police shooting of Jacob Blake Sunday. The curfew will be enforced until 7 a.m. Tuesday, according to a press release.
- Emily Files
11:25 a.m.: Joe Biden Releases Statement On Jacob Blake Shooting
Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden released a statement Monday on the shooting of Jacob Blake, calling for "an immediate, full and transparent investigation and the officers must be held accountable."
"Equal justice has not been real for Black Americans and so many others. We are at an inflection point. We must dismantle systemic racism. It is the urgent task before us. We must fight to honor the ideals laid in the original American promise, which we are yet to attain: That all men and women are created equal, but more importantly that they must be treated equally," he said in the statement.
Kamala Harris, Biden's running mate, also made a statement.
Jacob Blake should not be fighting for his life right now.— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) August 24, 2020
As @JoeBiden said, there must be an immediate investigation and the officers involved should be held accountable.
Jacob, our nation is praying for you and your entire family. https://t.co/F4CSs6JnjS
- Lauren Sigfusson