Armed rioters shut down streets in Kenosha, Wisconsin on Sunday night as the city fell into chaos after a police-involved shooting earlier in the evening.
A large group of rioters – including at least two armed rioters – blocked a police armored car from proceeding down a street. After a standoff, the police began throwing tear gas canisters from the top of the vehicle to disperse the crowd. Moments later, gunshots rang out after one of the protesters appeared to open fire.
The loud bangs sounded distinctively like gunshots and the after the person filming the video shifted to the direction the shots apparently came from, an armed rioter was there with his weapon raised.
The violence sweeping across Kenosha was triggered by an incident earlier in the day where police officers responding to a domestic incident, shot a black man seven times in the back as he walked away from them and attempted to gain entry to a vehicle.
As the AP reports:
In the video posted on social media that appeared to show the shooting from across a street, three officers could be seen shouting and pointing their weapons at the man, who appeared to be Black, as he walked around the front of an SUV parked on the street. As the man opened the driver’s side door and leaned inside, one officer grabbed his shirt from behind and then fired into the vehicle. Seven shots could be heard on the video, though it was unclear if more than one officer fired.
Following the shooting, social media posts showed neighbors gathering in the surrounding streets and hurling comments at police. Some could be heard chanting, ‘No justice, no peace.’
It is not clear from the video whether the man was reaching inside the vehicle for a weapon, and no official word has yet come down from the Kenosha Police Department to say if a weapon was found.
Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers released a statement criticizing the shooting before knowing the full details.
“While we do not have all of the details yet, what we know for certain is that he is not the first Black man or person to have been shot or injured or mercilessly killed at the hands of individuals in law enforcement in our state or our country,” Evers said according to the AP. “We stand with all those who have and continue to demand justice, equity, and accountability for Black lives in our country …
“And we stand against excessive use of force and immediate escalation when engaging with Black Wisconsinites. I have said all along that although we must offer our empathy, equally important is our action. In the coming days, we will demand just that of elected officials in our state who have failed to recognize the racism in our state and our country for far too long.”
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