Two Protesters Killed in Kenosha Shooting in Third Night of Unrest
Unconfirmed reports have linked the shooter to a militia group with videos shared on social media showing him walking by police after the shooting.
In the third night of uprising and protest following the police shooting of Jacob Blake, a militia member opened fire on protesters leaving two dead and at least one other wounded.
The shooting incident quickly went viral with dozens of videos from different angles shared on social media. Speculation and misinformation have also spread as internet users scrambled to learn more information about the shooting.
The Kenosha Police Department released a statement confirming the deaths and injuries and said the shooting investigation is “active and ongoing” while “no further details regarding the shooting will be released at this time.”
However, the conduct of the police has been questioned as multiple videos emerged of police interacting with armed militia members before and after the shooting. Video taken on the ground appears to show Kenosha police offering water to armed citizens including the alleged shooter.
Kenosha, Wisconsin continues to be wracked with unrest and uncertainty three nights after Blake, a black man, was shot seven times by the police. Family members have confirmed that Blake is now paralyzed from the waist down due to the police shooting.
Blake’s sister said at a press conference, “I’m not sad. I’m not sorry. I’m angry. And I’m tired. I haven’t cried one time. I stopped crying years ago. I am numb. I have been watching police murder people that look like me for years.”
Governor Tony Evers declared a state of emergency and deployed the National Guard to Kenosha on Tuesday.
Did Shooter Walk Right by Police?
Hundreds of videos surrounding the shooting incident have been released, and in the aftermath of a video that shows the shooter firing on two protesters, the shooter appears to walk right by police vehicles with his hand occasionally going to his gun.
Multiple accounts online have identified the shooter; however, law enforcement is yet to publicly identify any suspects.
In a video showing what some suspect to be the shooter, police offer armed civilians water and say “we appreciate you guys being out here.”
In another video taken of an alleged member of a militia group, a man says the cops told them, “we’re going to push them [protestors] down by you because you can deal with them. And we’re going to leave.”
Militia groups have been on the ground in Kenosha for several days with right-wing accounts on Twitter promoting their actions.
Elijah Schafer of Glenn Beck’s The Blaze tweeted Tuesday, “civilian militia did a better job protecting private property in Kenosha than the police/national guard. It’s amazing what surrounding a small business w/ a few good men strapped w/ powerful weapons can do to maintain peace.”
A witness interviewed near the scene said the shooter was part of a group of “10-15 pickup trucks moving in succession together.”
Armed counter-protests and militias have been widely documented as a reaction to Black Lives Matter protests. Conflicts and tense standoffs have between armed militia groups and protestors have become commonplace as the right mobilizes in response to months of antiracist protests.
A Black Lives Matter protester, Garrett Foster, was shot and killed in Austin, Texas last month. The man who killed Foster claimed it was in self-defense.
Steven Baca shot a protester in Albuquerque in June and claimed self-defense. Notably, the New Mexico Civil Guard, an armed civilian militia, defended Baca in the subsequent melee.
The latest shooting in Kenosha appears to be connected to a growing movement on the right to arm themselves in response to mounting frustration with police violence.
Nick Estes, Assistant Professor of American Studies at the University of New Mexico, said, “Jacob Blake got shot seven times in the back for breaking up a fight. A little racist white kid guns down three people, killing one, with dozens of witnesses and walks through a police line unharmed, in the same goddamn city.”