Rally support police score in downtown Kenosha

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KENOSHA, WIS. – Dozens of police supporters gathered in downtown Kenosha on Sunday where protesters have been protesting against police brutality since Jacob Blake’s shooting last weekend. Some attending the rally in Wisconsin City wore “back the blue” shirts. Others carried American flags. They applauded when law enforcement vehicles passed.

“With the things that they face on a daily basis, they need that extra little push and show that they are needed,” said Jennifer Peyton, 44, who attended the rally. “I mean, if you were going to work every day, and someone told you you were bad or that they had thrown things at you, I think that would take a bit of a toll on your psyche too.

A Kenosha policeman shot Blake in the back on August 23, leaving the 29-year-old black man paralyzed.

Protesters have marched through Kenosha every night since the Blake shooting, with some protests turning into unrest that damaged buildings and vehicles. Authorities say a northern Illinois teenager shot and killed two protesters in Kenosha on Tuesday evening.

A 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. state of emergency curfew, which was due to expire Sunday, has been extended to 7 a.m. Wednesday, the Kenosha County Sheriff’s Office said.

The Blake shooting sparked further protests against racial injustice, and police brutality months after George Floyd’s death on May 25 sparked wider consideration of race.

Floyd, another black man, was handcuffed and died after an officer in Minneapolis pressed his knee into Floyd’s neck.

Blake was shot after three Kenosha agents responded to a domestic dispute call.

In a cellphone video recorded by a spectator, Blake walks from the curb in the front of an SUV to his driver’s side door as officers follow him with their guns and yell at him. As Blake opens the door and leans into the SUV, an officer grabs his shirt from behind and opens fire. Three of Blake’s children were in the vehicle.

City officials have identified Rusten Sheskey as the officer who shot Blake.

The Kenosha Police Union said Blake had a knife and got into a fight with officers. State investigators only said officers found a knife on the floor of the car.

Blake is being treated in a hospital. His father, Jacob Blake Sr., said he was paralyzed from the waist down.

Ben Crump, an attorney for the family, told CBS’s “Face the Nation” on Sunday that young Blake suffered “catastrophic injuries,” including a punctured spinal cord and broken vertebrae. He lost his colon and most of his bowel, Crump said.

Like Floyd’s death, Blake’s shooting fueled a national movement against police brutality and the slaughter of blacks by law enforcement.

The movement further revealed deep divisions in the country.

Some people at Sunday’s rally signed petitions calling for the recall of Governor Tony Evers and Lieutenant Governor Mandela Barnes, both Democrats, and added messages of support on handwritten posters thanking the police as heroes.

About 1,000 people attended a rally to protest police violence on Saturday.

The city’s mayor, John Antaramian, said on Sunday he would ask the state for $ 30 million to rebuild parts of Kenosha destroyed or damaged by violence, according to the Kenosha News.

President Donald Trump has spoken out against the summer protests. He is expected to travel to Kenosha on Tuesday to meet with law enforcement and investigate the damage caused by the protests.

Evers wrote to Trump on Sunday, urging the president to reconsider his plans to visit Kenosha.

“I, along with other community leaders who have reached out, am concerned about what your presence will mean for Kenosha and our state. I’m afraid your presence will only hinder our healing. I’m afraid your presence will only delay our work to overcome division and move forward together, ”Evers wrote.

Barnes has indicated that Trump may not be welcome.

“I don’t know how, given the president’s previous statements, that he intends to come here to be of help and we absolutely don’t need him at the moment,” Barnes told CNN on Sunday.

Crump said the Blake family “has not been contacted at this time” by Trump.

On Sunday, some Kenosha residents rallied around a family dollar as volunteers handed out donations and painted messages of peace on buildings on board. A DJ played house music and hip-hop as volunteers danced, wearing masks to protect against the coronavirus.

“I needed it today,” said David Sanchez, 66, retiree. “I went to church this morning and it was all about Jacob Blake and his family. It is 100% positive. ”

Sanchez said Blake’s shooting forced Kenosha “to come out of the closet.”

“There’s been a lot of prejudice here, for years,” said Sanchez, whose family moved to San Antonio, Texas, in the 1950s. “We have to face it. “

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