Despite the deployment of National Guard troops to quell unrest, violence continued overnight in Kenosha, Wisconsin, with some desperate citizens forced to arm themselves and take matters into their own hands to defend the city.
Police deployed non-lethal munitions to disperse the crowds of protesters and looters late on Monday and into the early hours of Tuesday, in the second consecutive night of rioting since the police shooting of 29-year-old Jacob Blake during an incident on Sunday.
Rioters have brandished guns in the open for the second night in a row, but it wasn’t only the rioters and police that took to the streets heavily armed: several citizens decided to make a stand and defend local businesses from looters, footage shared on social purports to show.
Some residents were harassed by the crowd for protecting a local business (not their own business)“We’re out here trying to protect residents, we’re trying to protect the innocent people and we’re trying to protect the businesses of the citizens out here…” pic.twitter.com/1uNWHM6kNl
Demonstrators ignored a citywide curfew and at one point faced down police armored personnel carriers and tear gas, while enacting an apparent scorched Earth policy of torching local businesses indiscriminately, much to the dismay of legitimate protesters and local residents.
A few people are dancing on top of the now destroyed cars pic.twitter.com/MPLViEbS3h
A closer look at just one of the buildings (the local furniture store) currently up in flames in Kenosha tonight: pic.twitter.com/2EvasISbN1
One resident, having apparently had enough, patrolled the streets in his pick up truck, engaging with the rioters and pleading for them to take their issues out on the police but spare local businesses.
“Just because you people are too scared to go deal with the cops… take your issues up with them…” the man can be heard pleading.
He got into a fight with a group of people and later sped off, daring them to come for his business. Said people shouldn’t be destroying their own neighborhoods: pic.twitter.com/3O4FFmLnY8
His efforts were seemingly in vain, however, as one of the alleged “protesters” called out the name of the do-gooder’s business, written on the side of his truck, and gleefully proclaimed, “We’ll burn your store down too!”
Kenosha is the latest flashpoint of racially charged, anti-police violence to sweep the US, with tensions having already erupted in many cities, including Seattle and Portland, following the death of George Floyd at the hands of police in May.
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