Wisconsin city center burns amid protests over police shooting of Black man

Arsonists set buildings ablaze and torched much of the Black business district during a second night of unrest in Kenosha, Wisconsin, triggered by the wounding of a Black man shot in the back by police as his three young sons looked on.

Smoke billowed over central Kenosha after police in riot gear clashed with protesters who defied a dusk-to-dawn curfew on Monday night and into Tuesday morning, blocks away from where police gunned down Jacob Blake on Sunday.

Jacob Blake, 29, survived the shooting, which was captured on  video, and was in stable condition following surgery, his father  said, He was flown to a hospital in Milwaukee. He remained in intensive care late Monday,

Video shows Blake walking toward the driver’s side door of his car, away from two officers who were pointing guns to his back. After he opens the door, seven shots ring out with one of the officers tugging at his shirt. It remains unknown what the officers may have seen inside Blake’s car.

But the incident, the latest in a litany of cases to focus attention on police treatment of African Americans, unleashed outrage in the lakefront city of Kenosha, located north of Chicago and south of Milwaukee.

The shooting occurred three months after the death of George Floyd, a Black man in Minneapolis who was pinned to the street under the knee of a white police officer, sparking nationwide protests against police brutality and racism in the United States.

There is no police body-cam footage of the Blake shooting as it was previously decided by city and law enforcement leaders that the devices cost too much to provide them to officers. But a mobile phone clip of the incident went viral on social media on Sunday, igniting widespread outrage three months after the death of George Floyd.

The shooting drew condemnation from Democratic Gov. Tony Evers, who also called out 125 members of the National Guard on Monday after protesters set cars on fire, smashed windows and clashed with officers in riot gear the previous night.

Police first fired tear gas Monday about 30 minutes after the 8 p.m. curfew took effect to disperse protesters who chanted, ‘No justice, no peace’ as they confronted a line of officers who wore protective gear and stood shoulder-to-shoulder in front of the courthouse entrance. But hundreds of people stuck around, screaming at police and lighting fires, including to a garbage truck near the courthouse.

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