Trump Visits, Jacob Blake’s Family Speaks, Protests Held – NBC Chicago

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President Donald Trump visited Kenosha, Wisconsin, on Tuesday after more than a week of unrest following the police shooting of 29-year-old Jacob Blake.

During his visit, Blake’s family held a block party at the site where he was shot late last month, calling for peace, justice, healing for the community an end to systemic racism.

Trump’s arrival was met with protests and demonstrations in the city center, with members of the crowd – both supporters and opponents of Trump – engaging each other in shouting matches at times.

Here are the latest updates on the situation unfolding in Kenosha:

Protesters Gather, March in Kenosha During and After Trump’s Visit

Demonstrators in Kenosha were marching through city streets, after President Donald Trump wrapped up a visit to the area.

More than 100 people were seen following a man with a megaphone, shouting, “arrest the police” and other chants.

The city saw protest and some violence after the Aug. 23 police shooting of Jacob Blake. The 29-year-old Black man was shot seven times in the back. His family says he is paralyzed.

At one point, a group of protesters surrounded a man who they said was a member of a white nationalist group. Police officers moved in quickly and pulled the man away from the group. One officer pepper sprayed a woman.

Earlier in the day, a few hundred supporters and detractors of Trump gathered at a city center intersection in Kenosha, mixing and engaging each other in shouting matches at times, but there were no reports of violence.

Some Kenosha residents had feared Trump’s visit Tuesday would prompt violence.

Tensions temporarily rose as Trump’s motorcade rolled by, with his supporters clapping and others booing and cursing. But crowd sizes were modest and passions were mostly tempered.

At least two people were carrying pistols in holsters, telling those around them they were Trump supporters and had open-carry permits.

By mid-afternoon much of the crowd dispersed. A few motorcyclists remained, with flags supporting Trump, and a booth nearby sold T-shirts supporting the Black Lives Matter movement.

Watch Trump’s Roundtable Discussion During Kenosha Visit

President Donald Trump on Tuesday met with Kenosha law enforcement, business owners and area leaders to discuss the response to unrest in the area following the police shooting of Jacob Blake.

Jacob Blake’s Family Speaks at Kenosha Community Event During Trump’s Visit

On the same street where he was shot by police nine days earlier, the family of Jacob Blake held a block party on Tuesday to counter the president’s visit to Kenosha.

During the event, Blake’s family members encouraged supporters to stand in solidarity with them in their fight for justice.

“Peace and love to him because he has his agenda and we have ours,” said Justin Blake, Jacob’s uncle.

“Whatever his motivation is, we’re not engaging with that. We’re asking everybody here to focus on getting justice for little Jake.”

Family and local leaders speak out at a community event in Kenosha demanding justice for Jacob Blake in the same spot he was shot at by police last month.

Justin Blake says his nephew’s condition is improving, but he is still paralyzed from the waist down. Meanwhile, he says, Jacob’s children are receiving therapy after witnessing the August 23rd shooting of their father from the backseat of his car.

State leaders and other prominent figures joined in the day of action, including Reverend Jesse Jackson and Wisconsin Representative Gwen Moore.

“If the president of the United States loves chaos, we are not going to create the backdrop for the violent chaos he wants to see,” said Rep. Moore.

Trump did not meet with the Blake family during his visit. Justin Blake says they did not speak with him at all.

“Whatever they are talking about is a ruse. That’s why we’re doing what we are doing today, so they can’t take over the narrative,” said Blake.

Blake encouraged continued peace in Kenosha but also issued a call to action.

We’re asking people not to be violent, not to destroy our community, but in the same breath we’re asking them to stand with the Blake family,” he said.

At Tuesday’s community event, there were free haircuts, coronavirus tests, food and music. People were also encouraged to register to vote.

“We’re here today not only healing our family, the Blake family, but this is our family. Kenosha is our family now. We want to help them heal as well,” said Justin Blake.

When asked if the Blake family would meet with presidential candidate Joe Biden, Justin Blake said his nephew has already spoken with him and his running mate Kamala Harris by phone.

Blake says the family will remain in the Kenosha area until there is an indictment of the officer involved.

Trump Declines to Condemn Teen’s Fatal Shooting of Protesters in Kenosha After Deriding ‘Left-Wing Violence’

President Donald Trump on Monday declined to condemn an Illinois teen who police say shot and killed two protesters in Kenosha, Wisconsin, last week, just minutes after he derided “left-wing political violence” as “terrible” and “out of control.”

In a news conference at the White House Monday afternoon, a reporter asked Trump if he would “condemn the actions of vigilantes like Kyle Rittenhouse.”

Rittenhouse is the 17-year-old from Antioch, Illinois, who was arrested Wednesday and charged with multiple felonies, including first-degree intentional homicide, after police say he shot three people, two fatally, as chaos unfolded in Kenosha the night before.

“We’re looking at all of it,” Trump said Monday. “And that was an interesting situation. You saw the same tape as I saw. And he was trying to get away from them, I guess; it looks like. And he fell, and then they very violently attacked him. And it was something that we’re looking at right now and it’s under investigation. But I guess he was in very big trouble. He would have been — I — he probably would have been killed.”

Kenosha Unrest Causes $2M in Damage to City-Owned Property

Damage to city-owned property from violence that erupted over the police shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha is estimated at nearly $2 million so far, a city official said.

The city’s public works director, Shelly Billingsley, provided the estimate to local leaders Monday night on what it would cost to replace garbage trucks, street lights and traffic signals, among other things that were destroyed or damaged in the unrest over the last week.

The estimate was made as some Kenosha residents fear Tuesday’s planned visit by President Donald Trump may stir more emotions and cause more violence and destruction in the southeastern Wisconsin city after several days of peace. Others, however, welcomed the president’s trip.

Trump Rejects Gov. Evers’ Request to Consider Canceling Kenosha Trip

Rebuffing objections from Gov. Tony Evers, President Donald Trump traveled to Kenosha, Wisconsin, Tuesday in the midst of turmoil after the police shooting of Jacob Blake late last month.

The president, who has been an outspoken critic of the handling of similar unrest in Portland, conceded that he was aware that Evers “did not want us there,” but said that he hoped his presence would help to inspire residents.

“It could also increase enthusiasm,” Trump said. “It could increase love and respect for our country. That’s why I am going.”

President Donald Trump says he will still visit Kenosha, Wisc., despite a request from Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers to postpone.

At a White House press briefing Monday evening, Trump gave the governor credit for accepting assistance from the National Guard, which he claimed help quell tensions in the city.

“Ultimately he said yes. As soon as he said yes, the problem ended,” Trump said. “But I have to see the people that did such a good job for me…We have tremendous support in the state of Wisconsin.”

Why Trump Didn’t Meet With Jacob Blake’s Family During Kenosha Visit

Despite visiting Kenosha on Tuesday, President Trump didn’t meet with the family of Jacob Blake, a Black man who was shot seven times in the back by a police officer.

Protesters have marched in Kenosha every night since Blake’s shooting on Aug. 23, with some protests devolving into unrest that damaged buildings and vehicles. Blake, 29, was paralyzed as a result of the shooting, according to family members.

When asked why he won’t meet with the Blake family, Trump told reporters he decided not to take part, because the family wanted lawyers present.

Kenosha Curfew to Remain in Effect Through Labor Day, Officials Say

Officials in Kenosha announced that the city’s curfew will remain in effect through at least Labor Day amid continuing unrest after the police shooting of Jacob Blake earlier this month.

According to officials, the curfew will go into effect at 7 p.m. on Monday and Tuesday, and will go into effect at 9 p.m. beginning on Wednesday and running through Labor Day.

Public transit will only run until 4 p.m. Monday and Tuesday, then will run until 7:30 p.m. Wednesday through Friday, according to a message from Kenosha Area Transit. Buses will run until 4 p.m. Saturday, then will be inactive Sunday and on Monday, as service doesn’t run on Sundays or federal holidays.

The news comes as protests and unrest continue in the city after Blake’s shooting. While things have remained largely peaceful in recent days, last week saw a fatal shooting in the city, along with property damage and fires, according to officials.

Timeline: The Jacob Blake Shooting and the Unrest That Followed

At 5:11 p.m. on Aug. 23, Kenosha police officers were called to a scene that would ultimately end with officers shooting a Black man, Jacob Blake, in the back at least seven times.

In the hours and days following, protests erupted and the small Wisconsin city became the center of nationwide outrage, the latest focal point in what has been summer of unrest amid cries for racial justice.

Here’s a look back at what happened and when:

Aug. 23

  • At 5:11 p.m. Kenosha police said officers responded to a call of a “domestic incident in the 2800 block of 40th Street. There, they would encounter 29-year-old Jacob Blake who is seen on video posted to social media in an altercation with officers before they Tase and ultimately shoot him seven times in the back as he leans into a vehicle. The Kenosha department does not have body cameras so officers were not wearing them at the time of the shooting. Civil rights attorney Ben Crump, representing Blake’s family, said Blake was “simply trying to do the right thing by intervening in a domestic incident.” The officers were placed on administrative leave, standard practice in a shooting by police, while the state Justice Department investigates.
  • Democratic Gov. Tony Evers and Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden condemned the shooting. Republicans and the police union accused the politicians of rushing to judgment.
  • A large crowd gathered near the area Sunday evening. Social media posts showed neighbors gathering in the surrounding streets and shouting at police. Marchers headed to the Kenosha County Public Safety Building, which houses the police and county sheriff’s departments. Protesters set cars on fire, smashed windows and clashed with officers in riot gear. Officers fired tear gas to disperse the crowds.
  • The city implemented a curfew until 7 a.m. Monday

Aug. 24

  • Kenosha residents woke Monday morning to broken storefront windows and cars burnt out.
  • Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot and CPD Supt. David Brown both responded to the shooting Monday. Lightfoot said she was “deeply disturbed” by the video of police shooting Blake and Brown called it “god-awful.”
  • Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers called for a special legislative session to consider a package of police reforms.
  • Tensions flared after a news conference with Kenosha Mayor John Antarmian, originally to be held in a park, was moved inside the city’s public safety building. Hundreds of protesters rushed to the building and a door was snapped off its hinges before police in riot gear pepper-sprayed the crowd.
  • Police officers in the city of Kenosha won’t be equipped with body cameras until 2022, the mayor said.
  • Just after 2 p.m., Evers authorized the Wisconsin National Guard to help provide support to law enforcement agencies.
  • A curfew was again issued in Kenosha County, taking effect at 8 p.m. and expiring at 7 a.m. Tuesday.
  • Police first fired tear gas about 30 minutes after the 8 p.m. curfew took effect to disperse protesters who chanted, “No justice, no peace” as they confronted a line of officers who wore protective gear and stood shoulder-to-shoulder in front of the courthouse entrance. But hundreds of people stuck around, screaming at police and lighting fires, including to a garbage truck near the courthouse.
  • Protests spread across the U.S. Monday with demonstrations in Chicago, New York City, San Diego, Los Angeles and more.

Aug. 25

  • Jacob Blake’s mother, father and three sisters, alongside civil rights attorneys, spoke out publicly on the shooting as it grips the nation. Blake’s mother issued an impassioned plea for people across the country to “take a moment and examine your heart,” saying her son would be “unpleased” by the unrest sparked from his shooting by police over the weekend.
  • The family’s attorney said Blake is paralyzed and it will “take a miracle” for him to walk again. He called for the officer who opened fire to be arrested and others involved to lose their jobs. The 29-year-old Blake underwent surgery Tuesday afternoon, said attorney Ben Crump, adding that the bullets severed Blake’s spinal cord and shattered his vertebrae. Another attorney said there was also severe damage to organs. The legal team plans to file a civil lawsuit against the police department over the shooting.
  • Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers declared a state of emergency under which he doubled the National Guard deployment in Kenosha from 125 to 250. A curfew was once again issued.
  • The Chicago Bears issued a statement promising to use the organization’s resources to “be a proponent of change” in local communities.In the statement, the Bears said that they are supporting efforts to end systemic racism.
  • The mayor of Evanston, Illinois, where Jacob Blake played high school football and has family ties, said that the community is in shock following the incident. Mayor Stephen Hagerty said “Evanston’s collective hearts ache for Jacob and his family, and we are praying for his full and speedy recovery.”
  • For the third night in a row, demonstrators and police clashed on the streets of Kenosha. During the day Tuesday, peaceful protests had once again taken place, but as night fell the tension continued to build, and in spite of a curfew that went into effect at 8 p.m., many remained on the streets near Civic Center Park in downtown Kenosha. Police clad in riot gear were summoned to the area once again after demonstrators tried to push over newly-erected safety fences, and tear gas was fired at some in the crowd who attempted to breach the barriers. Eventually an unlawful assembly was declared by police, and skirmishes between officers and demonstrators continued into the late evening hours.
  • At around 11:45 p.m., authorities said three people were shot, two fatally, in Kenosha as unrest gripped the Wisconsin city. Officers responded to the area of 63rd and Sheridan Road for reports of a shooting, Kenosha police said in a statement. Few details were released, but police said investigators were aware of videos related to the shooting circulating on social media, asking anyone with further video or photo evidence to reach out.

Aug. 26

  • Social media footage surfaced surrounding the late-night fatal shooting during unrest. Witness accounts and video indicate the gunman first shot someone at a car lot just before midnight, but details on what sparked that shooting weren’t immediately clear. The alleged gunman then jogged away, fell in the street, and opened fire again as members of the crowd closed in on him, some appearing to kick and grab at his weapon. According to witness accounts and video footage, police apparently let the gunman walk past them and leave the scene with a rifle over his shoulder and his hands in the air as members of the crowd were yelling for him to be arrested because he had shot people.
  • Members of the Kenosha County Board, in a letter to Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers, requested additional National Guard troops be sent to the area.The group asked for 1,500 additional members “with police powers” be sent to the county “immediately.”
  • President Donald Trump tweeted Wednesday afternoon that federal law enforcement will be sent to Kenosha as unrest continues to grip the Wisconsin city following the police shooting of a Black man on Sunday.
  • A teenage suspect in the shooting of multiple people during the unrest was taken into custody in Lake County, Illinois, and is facing first-degree intentional homicide charges, police confirmed. The suspect was identified as 17-year-old Antioch resident Kyle Rittenhouse.
  • Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers said the shooting that left two people dead and one injured amid unrest in Kenosha the night before was a “senseless tragedy” as he called for protests to remain peaceful and asked anyone not exercising their First Amendment rights to “stay home.”
  • Kenosha authorities held one of their first press conferences since Jacob Blake’s shooting. There they discuss measures taken to address the unrest and address the overnight fatal shooting, but do not detail what happened in Blake’s shooting. They also discuss vigilante groups of armed citizens patrolling streets at night. As for how Tuesday’s gunman managed to slip away, Sheriff David Beth described a chaotic, high-stress scene, with lots of radio traffic and people screaming, chanting and running — conditions he said can cause “tunnel vision” among law officers.
  • The two people killed were identified only as a 26-year-old Silver Lake, Wisconsin, resident and a 36-year-old from Kenosha. The wounded person, a 36-year-old from West Allis, Wisconsin, was expected to survive, police said.
  • At 6 p.m., Wisconsin’s Attorney General held a press conference and the Wisconsin Department of Justice releases some of the first information surrounding Blake’s shooting. The department details preliminary information, naming the officer involved and reporting that Blake “admitted” to officers he had a knife at the time, but says an investigation remains ongoing.
  • The Kenosha County District Attorney’s Office called for a civil rights investigation into the Jacob Blake shooting.
  • Citing potential unrest related to the incidents that occurred in Kenosha, authorities in Antioch instituted an 8 p.m. curfew for all residents until further notice.
  • Making their strongest statement yet in the fight against racial injustice, players from six NBA teams refused to play postseason games on Wednesday in an act of protest that quickly reverberated across other professional leagues. Also called off: Some games in Major League Baseball, Major League Soccer and three WNBA contests, as players across four leagues decided the best way to use their platform and demand change was to literally step off the playing surface.
  • As authorities piece together a case against Rittenhouse, new details began to emerge about his life. Interested in law enforcement, Rittenhouse routinely posted pictures of himself on social media, including photos with the phrase “Blue Lives Matter” featured prominently. Another video, posted to a Tik Tok account purportedly run by Rittenhouse, appears to show him sitting in the front row of a rally hosted by President Donald Trump earlier this year.
  • Facebook confirmed Wednesday that it took down one group’s page, titled The Kenosha Guard, for violating its policy against militia organizations. The company said it also is in the process of removing other accounts and material tied to the shootings that violate its policies, such as for glorifying violence, and it is in contact with local and federal law enforcement on the matter.
  • Facebook also removed Rittenhouse’s accounts from Facebook and Instagram. The company said it had not found evidence on Facebook that suggests the suspected shooter followed the Kenosha Guard Page or was invited on its Event Page to go to the protests.

Aug. 27

  • Protests were mostly peaceful overnight. As of early Thursday, there were no groups patrolling with long guns as there were during previous nights of protests over the Sunday shooting of Blake, who was left paralyzed. Protesters also stayed away from a courthouse that had been the site of standoffs with law enforcement.
  • Kenosha police held another press conference but refuse to take reporter questions.
  • Gov. Evers and other state officials held a press conference in Kenosha discouraging vigilantes and questioning how an Illinois teen was able to avoid arrest while armed on the street.
  • Prosecutors charged 17-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse in the fatal shooting of two protesters in Kenosha, Wisconsin, and the wounding of a third.


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