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THURSDAY NIGHT PROTESTS “PEACEFUL”: REPORT
by Sharon Rondeau
(Aug. 28, 2020) — President Trump tweeted Friday afternoon that his dispatching of federal National Guard troops to Kenosha, WI on Wednesday resulted in the “success” of “no further violence” following the shooting of Jacob Blake by police last Sunday.
“Success: Since the National Guard moved into Kenosha, Wisconsin, two days ago, there has been NO FURTHER VIOLENCE, not even a small problem,” Trump tweeted. “When legally asked to help by local authorities, the Federal Government will act and quickly succeed. Are you listening Portland?”
“Portland” was a reference to Portland, OR, which has seen violent nightly protests for approximately three months since the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis on May 25. Seventy-four arrests have been made in connection with the unrest, Fox News reported Friday.
Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers (D) agreed to receive federal assistance, Trump reported Wednesday, after Evers on Tuesday declared a state of emergency following riots, looting, destruction of property, and serious injury. Evers had already deployed 250 state-level National Guard, which failed to control the violence.
According to Newsweek, citing the White House, 1,000 Guardsmen and 200 civilian law-enforcement agents consisting of FBI and U.S. Marshals were sent to Kenosha, a city of just under 100,000 people which remains under a curfew through August 30 due to the recent violence.
On Thursday, NPR described activity in Kenosha as “mostly peaceful.”
The turning point appeared to be late Tuesday night, when two people were fatally shot and one injured. A 17-year-old man from Antioch, IL was taken into custody Wednesday and charged with six crimes including “first-degree intentional homicide” and “first-degree reckless homicide.” He is now being represented by well-known Georgia attorney L. Lin Wood, according to Wood’s Twitter timeline.
“Murder charges are factually unsupportable,” Wood tweeted of the case Friday. “An egregious miscarriage of justice is occurring with respect to this 17-year old boy. I love truth & justice. I deplore lies & injustice. Had those feelings ALL my life.” Three minutes earlier, Wood wrote, “At this time, I will not publicly address private facts about Kyle Rittenhouse or his family beyond telling you that is a fine young boy blessed with a good family. Take media rumors & accusations with a grain of salt. In time, lies are always revealed when truth is disclosed.”
In the wake of the shootings, several videos appeared on social media showing the moments before, during and after the first shooting took place.
In one video, Rittenhouse is seen being chased into a parking lot by several people while still armed with his gun.
One man then fires a gun into the air from several feet away from the 17-year-old before several others shots are fired.
In another clip from a different angle, one man seen chasing Rittenhouse appears to lunge at the 17-year-old before the suspect fires at least four times.
A body, later identified as Rosenbaum, is then seen on the ground and is assisted by another male. Rittenhouse appears to make a call on a cellphone before fleeing.
It is unclear why the 17-year-old was being chased in the first place. The parking lot is reportedly around several blocks away from the area he previously claimed to be protecting with the other armed men.
Later on, Rittenhouse is filmed being chased by more people down a residential street. He is seen stumbling and falling to the ground.
One person appears to stomp on him on the ground, before the 17-year-old fires twice, hitting Huber in the stomach and another man, Gaige Grosskreutz, who was carrying a handgun, in the arm.
According to the AP on Tuesday, “Online court records indicate Kenosha County prosecutors charged Blake on July 6 with sexual assault, trespassing and disorderly conduct in connection with domestic abuse. An arrest warrant was issued the following day.”
Kenosha saw protests responsive to Floyd’s death. On May 30, Kenosha Police Chief Daniel Miskinis commented, in part, “Mr. Floyd’s death is tragic and there have been protests across the nation to highlight that tragedy. The Kenosha Police Department respects the right to assemble and voice protest. Peaceful assembly is not only lawful, it can convey a strong message and by remaining peaceful, the message is not lost to violence. Those engaged in assembly and protest are encouraged to remain peaceful to preserve their message. The Kenosha Police Department will only take action to disperse or hinder protests when attendees act in a manner that forces us to take action to protect life and property. I support legitimate scrutiny of police action; however, scrutiny and assembly cannot be used as excuses to become violent.”
According to detailed reporting from USAToday, “Kenosha was calmer Thursday night. More than 200 people prayed at Harbor Park along Lake Michigan. The pastors who organized the event said they wanted the city to be known for its love of God, not the violence that has plagued its streets in the last week.”
On Friday morning, WDJT reported, in reference to Thursday night, “Night 5 of Kenosha protests remain peaceful.”
According to The Daily Caller on Friday:
Federal agents and Kenosha, Wisconsin, police officers arrested nine people in a dramatic scene that was filmed at a traffic stop Wednesday.
The Kenosha Police Department received a citizen tip on Wednesday evening that there were several suspicious vehicles with out of state plates congregating in a Kenosha parking lot, the department said in a statement Thursday. With the help of the U.S. Marshals Service, police located the vehicles and set up surveillance following them to a gas station, the statement said.
The states of Arizona, Alabama and Michigan sent their own National Guard troops “to assist Wisconsin National Guard troops and the FBI,” The Washington Examiner reported Friday. The outlet also claimed that Evers declined Trump’s offer of federal assistance from DHS, which contradicts other reporting.