Anger and frustration over another shooting of a Black man by law enforcement were once again on display in an American city, this time in Wisconsin, where peaceful protests eventually turned chaotic on Monday night.
Footage went viral of Kenosha police shooting Jacob Blake multiple times in the back at close range as he leaned into an SUV on Sunday. Three of his children were reportedly in the back seat at the time. The city is now the nation’s latest epicenter of unrest.
Police deployed tear gas “multiple times” as demonstrators gathered outside the Kenosha County Courthouse after the 8 p.m. curfew on Monday, member station WUWM in Milwaukee reported.
The station also notes that law enforcement appeared to use other crowd dispersal tactics, including firing rubber bullets on demonstrators.
Some protesters tried to force their way into the city’s public safety building Monday afternoon, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
There were also vehicles set on fire, including a garbage truck, according to reporter Matt Smith of Milwaukee-based ABC affiliate WISN.
Reporter Julie Bosman of The New York Times captured a scene of several businesses on fire in Kenosha overnight.
Earlier Monday, Gov. Tony Evers authorized the Wisconsin National Guard to assist local law enforcement in Kenosha.
“Every person should be able to express their anger and frustration by exercising their First Amendment rights and report on these calls to action without any fear of being unsafe,” Evers said.
“This is a limited mobilization of the National Guard focused on supporting the needs of local first responders to protect critical infrastructure, such as utilities and fire stations, and to ensure Kenoshians are able to assemble safely,” the governor added.
On Sunday, hours after the video of Blake’s encounter with police began surfacing on social media, Evers tweeted his dismay over what he had seen. He said he is “hoping earnestly that he will not succumb to his injuries.”
As NPR reported, at least seven shots could be heard on the widely circulated video that’s roughly 20 seconds long.
Prior to the shots, one of the officers trails Blake and grabs his shirt with his left hand in what appears to be an attempt to pull him away from a vehicle. The officer’s service weapon, in his right hand, is pointed inches from the man’s back.
As soon as Blake leans inside, the officer appears to shoot.
Sounds of the vehicle’s horn can be heard seconds later, presumably from Blake falling onto it.
The Wisconsin Department of Justice said it is investigating the shooting and is being assisted by the Kenosha County Sheriff’s Department. It also said the officers involved are on administrative leave and are cooperating with the investigation.