Protesters gathered near the county courthouse in Kenosha for the fourth consecutive night of demonstrations, defying a 7pm curfew, to denounce the police shooting of black man Jacob Blake.
Donald Trump announced Wednesday he will deploy federal law enforcement and the National Guard to Kenosha ‘to restore law and order’, slamming the looting, arson, and violence unfolding in the embattled city.
The past three nights of heated unrest saw buildings set on fire, two people killed after a rifle-wielding 17-year-old opened fire, and clashes with authorities who fired tear gas and rubber bullets into crowds.
Demonstrators continued to pour into Kenosha’s streets on Wednesday evening, setting fire to cars in a lot where Tuesday night’s fatal shooting took place.
Blake was shot in the back seven times by white officer Rusten Sheskey, a seven-year veteran of the Kenosha Police Department, in front of his three young children on Sunday. He’s now in the hospital and is partially paralyzed.
On Wednesday evening between 75 to 100 protesters gathered at the Civic Center Park near the Kenosha County Courthouse before moving north to around 52nd Street and 18th Avenue.
No National Guardsmen were present at the protest on the city’s east side as of 10pm, according to Kenosha News.
There were no initial signs of armed militia groups or counter protesters in the city at the start of the evening.
On Tuesday, groups on social media said they were going to protect businesses from looters and vandals.
Following the killings that unfolded before midnight Tuesday, Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers authorized the deployment of 500 members of the National Guard to Kenosha, doubling the number of troops.
The governor’s office said he is working with other states to bring in additional National Guard members and law officers.
The White House also said Wednesday it would send up to 2,000 National Guard troops in addition to the agents from the FBI, U.S. Marshals Service and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
‘A senseless tragedy like this cannot happen again,’ Democratic Gov. Evers said in a statement Wednesday.
‘I again ask those who choose to exercise their First Amendment rights please do so peacefully and safely, as so many did last night. I also ask the individuals who are not there to exercise those rights to please stay home and let local first responders, law enforcement and members of the Wisconsin National Guard do their jobs,’ he added.
He declared a statement of emergency after the first two evenings of protests and has continued to bolster the number of National Guard deployed.
Two people were killed in the civil unrest when gunfire rang out, terrorizing crowds, in Kenosha late Tuesday.
Two men, a 26-year-old and a 36-year-old from Kenosha County were killed, the authorities said, and a third person was injured.
On Wednesday afternoon 17-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse was arrested and charged for the shooting in Kenosha that killed the two protesters and injured another person in a possible vigilante attack.
The police admirer was arrested in his hometown of Antioch, Illinois, about 15 miles from Kenosha, and was charged with first degree intentional homicide.
His social media shows his affinity for guns, police, and President Trump.
He was arrested after video footage emerged him walking up to police with his hands in the air and his semi-automatic rifle slung across his body before the shooting.
On Wednesday the Wisconsin Attorney General announced the first details of the shooting revealing that Blake admitted to officers he had a knife, which was later recovered from the driver’s side floorboard.
It’s not clear if Blake had the knife on him during his dispute with police.
Officer Rusten Sheskey, a seven year veteran with the department, was identified as the cop who fired all seven shots into Blake’s back.
NBA players have joined in the protests denouncing the police shooting of Blake.
The NBA has postponed the remainder of Wednesday’s playoff games after the Milwaukee Bucks boycotted their matchup with the Orlando Magic in Florida.
The Bucks and Magic were set to begin Game 5 of their series shortly after 4 pm when the Milwaukee Bucks stood and read a statement saying they were ‘calling for justice for Jacob Blake, and demand the officers be held responsible.’
Wednesday’s NBA protests spilled over into Major League Baseball, where another Wisconsin team, the Milwaukee Brewers, agreed with Cincinnati Reds players to boycott their evening game, according to multiple reports.
The WNBA also suspended play on Wednesday in response to the shooting.
The Justice Department said on Wednesday that it would open a federal civil rights investigation into Officer Sheskey’s shooting of Blake.
The FBI will conduct the federal inquiry in cooperation with Wisconsin authorities, the department said in a statement.