Residents of Kenosha's Black Business District Denounce Violence

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August 25, 2020

As rioters in Kenosha, Wisconsin, continue to wreak havoc in the city’s black business district following the police-involved shooting of Jacob Blake, local residents—including members of Blake’s family—are calling for an end to the carnage.

On Sunday, protests following Blake’s shooting turned violent when rioters set fire to buildings, churches, and cars in the neighborhood near where Blake was shot in the back by police. Residents are now speaking out, condemning destruction in an area of the city that’s home to many black-owned businesses.

Blake’s cousin, who goes by Pauly on Twitter, tweeted a message from Blake’s mother on Monday asking protesters to "remain peaceful."

"Jacob is out of surgery and In ICU. We will continue to pray as he fights. We will not excuse the actions of the Kenosha Police department, but his mother asks everyone to please remain peaceful," Pauly tweeted.

One resident, Chauncey Body, told the New York Times that the agitators are endangering his community.

"This hurts," Body said. "This is a neighborhood. They're putting lives in danger."

And a video shared on Twitter early Tuesday morning captured residents’ reactions to rioters setting a building on fire in their neighborhood. In the video, residents shout in the background, "This is ridiculous," "Take your asses home," and, "You think this is 'black lives matter?'"

Blake’s shooting is the latest police-involved shooting this year that has led to racial-justice and anti-police protests. In many cities, these protests turned violent—leading some in the black community to speak out. Last week, black faith leaders and activists in Seattle publicly supported the city’s police chief and condemned local Black Lives Matter protesters, whose destruction they called a "disservice" to the community.