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Rioters Destroy Kenosha’s Black Business District As National Guard Responds

Kenosha, WI – A second night of riots and looting left even more Kenosha businesses destroyed on Tuesday morning despite the presence of Wisconsin National Guardsmen across the city.

Arsonists set ablaze most of the city’s black business district on Monday night, according to Reuters.

Kenosha police said rioters set fire to buildings uptown and downtown, smashed streetlights, and destroyed city equipment, including the Community Corrections Building on 60th Street, the Kenosha News reported.

Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers deployed the Wisconsin National Guard into the city on Monday to assist law enforcement with keeping the peace after the city exploded in riots following the officer-involved shooting of 29-year-old Jacob Blake by Kenosha police on Sunday.

The Kenosha County Sheriff’s Office, the Pleasant Prairie police, and the Wisconsin State Police were also on hand to assist Kenosha police when the rioting kicked off again on Aug. 24, the Kenosha News reported.

The city had implemented an emergency curfew at 8 p.m. but it did nothing to deter the violent protesters who descended.

Many businesses had boarded up their fronts in anticipation of more unrest in the city, but that didn’t stop determined looters who took time to break through the barriers to get into stores.

The owner of a hobby shop told the Kenosha News that he saw the Danish Brotherhood Lodge at 22nd Avenue and 63rd Street set on fire at about 10:45 p.m.

The hobby shop owner, who answered his door with a shotgun, said rioters threw a “firebomb” at the lodge.

Police apprehended two suspects early Tuesday morning who were believed to have been in the process of setting fire to the Simmons Library at 59th Street and Seventh Avenue, the Kenosha News reported.

Rioters vandalized and looted Target in Pleasant Prairie and Dick’s Sporting Goods on 76th Street.

Neighbors stood on sidewalks and watched buildings burn without knowing whether the families who lived in apartments above the businesses had escaped safely.

At one point, a rioter pulled out a handgun and pointed it at a camera as he explained what he would do if they police showed up at that moment.

After burning down a car dealership and a church next door to it on Sunday night, rioters took to smashing windows on parked cars in downtown Monday night and setting even more car dealerships ablaze.

The owners of Car Source told FOX News they had sustained $1.5 million in damage from the fires set in their car lot on Sunday night.

The dealership had a Black Lives Matter sign hanging out front but that didn’t matter to the rioters who smashed car windows and poured accelerant to start the fires.

“We’ve served a lot of people, been good to people, and this is the thanks you get, so it’s sad,” the owner told FOX News. “That is not protesting… All this is doing is bringing us to the brink of a Civil War.”

That sentiment seemed to be echoed by a woman who filmed a terrifying video that showed an elderly man with a fire extinguisher whose business had been set ablaze by rioters.

The video showed the man tried to stop looters from ransacking the building next door to his business and was attacked by rioters who left him unconscious and bleeding.

“Nooooo!” the woman filming screamed when the elderly man fell to the ground.

The video showed a rioter had struck the man in the face.

“This is just wrong guys. Do you not see this?” she asked. “This is wrong. This is what’s going to happen to every one of you when this [unintelligible] goes nationwide. I don’t think you realize that. Please guys.”

Rioters around the woman told her that she didn’t understand what terrified black men in their community as justification for the attack on the elderly business owner, the video showed.

Kenosha County Board of Supervisors member Zach Rodriguez told Reuters on Tuesday morning that the board would have an emergency meeting to ask for federal help to stop the riots.

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Written by
Sandy Malone

Managing Editor - Twitter/@SandyMalone_ - Prior to joining The Police Tribune, Sandy wrote the Politics.Net column for the Wall Street Journal and was managing editor of Campaigns & Elections magazine. More recently, she was an internationally-syndicated columnist for Conde Nast (BRIDES), The Huffington Post, and Monsters and Critics. Sandy is married to a retired police captain and former SWAT commander.

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