TEHRAN (Iran News) – Protests over the shooting of Jacob Blake entered their third night in Kenosha, US state of Wisconsin, on Tuesday as crowds gathered outside the county courthouse and clashed with police, throwing bottles and fireworks at officers.
About 300 demonstrators defied the city’s 8pm curfew again after Governor Tony Evers declared a state of emergency earlier following a night of violence and destruction that saw rioters set fire to businesses and vehicles across the city.
Kenosha has become the US’ latest flashpoint in a summer of racial unrest after police officers shot 29-year-old Blake, an unarmed black man, multiple times in the back during a confrontation on Sunday, leaving him paralyzed.
The shooting comes three months after the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis which sparked nationwide protests against police brutality and racism.
As tensions flared for a third night, police in riot gear fired rubber bullets, tear gas and flash-bang rounds as they skirmished after dark with defiant demonstrators outside a courthouse and adjacent park in downtown Kenosha, the Daily Mail reported.
But there was no immediate sign of buildings or cars being set ablaze, as happened on Monday night.
Demonstrators, some of whom were wearing helmets and equipped with makeshift protective gear, were seen trying to storm a black iron fence that had been installed earlier to protect the court from rioters.
Meanwhile, officers dressed in riot gear stood guard behind the barrier, holding up shields as protesters shouted expletives and hurled bottles at them.
Footage from the scene also showed people throwing fireworks in the direction of cops as they ignored their orders to disperse.
In one video shared by a journalist on Twitter, one man was seen trying to set fire to an American flag before being deterred by pepperballs fired by police.
Kenosha County sheriffs deputies warned crowds over loud speaker that they were participating in an unlawful gathering while urging them to leave the area.
The crowd responded by chanting “black lives matter”, prompting police to fire rubber bullets.
Several military-style armored patrol vehicles were also called in and were seen maneuvering around the county courthouse, firing tear gas at the crowd.
About three hours after declaring the protest an unlawful assembly, authorities had managed to push Tuesday night’s crowd out of the downtown park, with demonstrators scattering down streets.
disturbances came hours after Governor Evers vowed to deploy additional National Guard troops in a bid to restore order in the town, while Blake’s mother publicly appealed for calm during a press conference held outside the court.
Blake, 29, a father of six, was struck from behind at point-blank range in a hail of bullets fired on Sunday by police who were following him with guns drawn as he walked away from officers to his car and opened a door to the vehicle.
Three of his young sons inside the automobile – aged three, five and eight – witnessed their father being gunned down, according to civil rights attorney Ben Crump, who represents the Blake family.
A bystander captured the encounter in video footage that immediately went viral, unleashing outrage over the latest in a long series of instances in which police have been accused of using indiscriminate lethal force against African Americans.
Blake, who had been attempting to break up a quarrel between two women, was struck by multiple gunshots fired at him, all by one officer.
Crump also revealed Blake was undergoing surgery for his injuries, adding that the bullets severed his spinal cord and shattered his vertebrae. Another attorney said there was also severe damage to organs.
“It’s going to take a miracle for Jacob Blake Jr to ever walk again,” Crump said.
- source : Tasnim, Iran News