Cops clear BLM protesters from outside the White House while thousands march behind Jacob Blake’s family as demonstrations continue across the country
- Police clashed with BLM protesters in Washington, D.C. on Saturday during another night of unrest
- Hundreds of people gathered at Black Lives Matter Plaza to protest against police brutality and racial injustice
- Just before midnight, cops in riot gear moved on crowds, using tear gas and pepper spray to clear the area
- A crowd of about 1,000 people rallied outside the Kenosha County Courthouse on Saturday to denounce police brutality and share messages of change, a week after the shooting of Jacob Blake
- Blake’s father, Jacob Blake Sr, gave an impassioned call for changing a system he described as fostering police brutality and racial inequities
- President Donald Trump will visit Kenosha on Tuesday to meet with law enforcement and survey damage from recent demonstrations that turned violent
Chaos erupted outside the White House on Saturday following another night of Black Lives Matter protests that saw police clash with demonstrators, striking them with rubber bullets and detonating stun grenades, as they moved to clear out crowds.
Hundreds of protesters had gathered at Black Lives Matter Plaza earlier to rally against police brutality and racial injustice, following another week of unrest over the police shooting of black man Jacob Blake in Wisconsin.
Members of the Metropolitan Police Department were out in force as demonstrators marched to the White House chanting, ‘No cops, no KKK, no fascists’.
Shortly before midnight, tensions between protesters and law enforcement boiled over, as police officers dressed in riot gear began charging at crowds to move them out of the area.
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Police clashed with BLM protesters in Washington, D.C. on Saturday during another night of unrest
KENOSHA, WISCONSIN: A woman was arrested outside of the Kenosha County Courthouse in defiance of the city-wide curfew
Officers were seen deploying tear gas grenades and using flash bang devices to disperse crowds.
in Kenosha, protests over the police shooting of Jacob Blake remained largely peaceful on Saturday night, following a day of demonstrations that saw thousands of people march to the county courthouse to denounce police brutality and racism.
Black Lives Matter activists have marched in the Wisconsin city every night since Blake’s shooting last Sunday, with some protests devolving into unrest with damage to buildings and vehicles.
Earlier in the day, crowds took to the streets chanting, ‘seven bullets, seven days’ – a reference to the number of times Blake was shot – as they marched toward the court, where speakers encouraged protesters to vote for change in November, and to push for legislation in Wisconsin that would lead to police reform.
But unlike last week’s demonstrations, most people on Saturday dispersed from the protest before the 7pm curfew.
More than an hour later, law enforcement officers, including some wearing U.S. Marshals Service identification, surrounded about a dozen people who remained outside the courthouse and made several arrests.
As night fell, National Guard troops and police officers in riot gear remained outside the fenced area surrounding several government buildings that have been at the center of the unrest over the past week.
KENOSHA, WISCONSIN: Law enforcement officers are seen standing guard as several people were arrested after the start of a city-wide curfew outside of the Kenosha County Courthouse on Saturday
KENOSHA, WISCONSIN: About 1,000 people joined a mile-long march in Kenosha on Saturday, chanting ‘Black Lives Matter’ and ‘No Justice, No Peace’, a week after the police shooting of Jacob Blake
KENOSHA, WISCONSIN: Protesters marched with Blake’s family towards the Kenosha County Courthouse where speakers encouraged the crowd to vote for change in November, and to push for legislation in Wisconsin that would lead to police reform
KENOSHA, WISCONSIN: Jacob Blake Sr (pictured) gave an impassioned call for changing a system
During the rally earlier, Blake’s father, Jacob Blake Sr, called on protesters to refrain from looting and vandalism, which had overshadowed peaceful protests before a tense calm set in the past three nights.
‘Good people of this city understand. If we tear it up we have nothing, Blake Sr said. ‘Stop it. Show ’em for one night we don’t have to tear up nothing.’
He gave an impassioned call for changing a system he described as fostering police brutality and racial inequities.
‘There were seven bullets put in my son’s back… Hell yeah, I’m mad,’ said Blake Sr. ‘What gave [police] the right to attempted murder on my child? What gave them the right to think that my son was an animal?
‘What gave them the right to take something that was not theirs? I’m tired of this,’ he added.
Kenosha Police Officer Rusten Sheskey and two other officers were responding to a domestic dispute call last Sunday when Sheskey shot 29-year-old Blake in the back.
Blake Sr told reporters on Saturday that his son is heavily sedated, but he has regained consciousness.
KENOSHA, WISCONSIN: The commander of the National Guard said Friday that more than 1,000 Guard members had been deployed to help keep the peace, with more on the way
KENOSHA, WISCONSIN: Police officers in riot gear patrol the area following a rally in Kenosha. Earlier this week, Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers approved a request for an additional 500 National Guard troops to be deployed
‘He’s in a lot of pain,’ he said. ‘I just wish I could pick my baby up and make it all right.’
He called for Sheskey to be charged and for the other two officers at the scene to be fired.
Several of Saturday’s speakers encouraged the crowd to vote for change in November, and to push for changing legislation.
‘Justice is a bare minimum,’ Lt Governor Mandela Barnes said. ‘Justice should be guaranteed to everybody in this country.’
Blake Sr asked those at the rally to raise their fists with him saying: ‘We are not going to stop going in the right direction. We’re going to the top … we’re gonna make legislation happen because that’s the only thing that they recognize,’ he said.
‘We all have a knee on the back of our necks, every day,’ he added, referring to the death of George Floyd, who died on May 25 after a Minneapolis police officer pressed his knee into his neck.
One of Blake’s sisters, Letetra Widman, said she felt recharged ‘to stand up not just for Jacob, but for all the people who have not gotten justice.’
Captured on cellphone video, the shooting sparked new protests against racial injustice and police brutality months after Floyd’s death touched off a wider reckoning on race.
KENOSHA, WISCONSIN: Protesters hold up placards at the Kenosha rally on Saturday. One protester had a sign reading: ‘Why did Jake [Blake] get shot in the back while Kyle [Rittenhouse] got a thank you?’
KENOSHA, WISCONSIN: Family members of Jacob Blake march with supporters to the Kenosha County Courthouse
Tensions further flared on Tuesday night after two protesters were killed by an armed civilian who claimed to have been defending the city.
The commander of the National Guard said Friday that more than 1,000 Guard members had been deployed to help keep the peace, with more on the way.
Following the rally, White House spokesman Judd Deere told reporters Saturday night President Trump will visit Kenosha on Tuesday to meet with law enforcement and survey damage from recent demonstrations that turned violent.
Trump, who toured hurricane-ravaged areas of Louisiana and Texas earlier Saturday, had told reporters that he ‘probably’ would visit the city.
Asked to weigh in on Tuesday’s shootings in which 17-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse was charged, Trump demurred and said ‘it’s under investigation’ and that ‘we are looking at it very, very carefully.’
Aniyah Ervin, a 16-year-old from Kenosha who is black, said Saturday that the week has been surreal.
Although she protested against racial injustice over the summer, she said there had been a feeling that police brutality was not a problem in Kenosha. But, she said, Blake’s shooting ‘shows it can happen anywhere.’
Will Turner, who is black, said he brought his two children from Madison for the march to ‘show them the power of peaceful protesting.’
Investigators have said little about what led to Blake’s shooting.
The Kenosha police union said Blake had a knife and fought with officers, putting one of them in a headlock as two efforts to stun him with a Taser were unsuccessful. State investigators have said only that officers found a knife on the floor of the car.
In the cellphone video recorded by a bystander, Blake walks from the sidewalk around the front of an SUV to his driver-side door as officers follow him with their guns drawn and shout 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.
The man who recorded the video, 22-year-old Raysean White, said he heard police yell at Blake, ‘Drop the knife! Drop the knife!’ before gunfire erupted. White said he didn’t see a knife in Blake’s hands.