The city of Kenosha, Wisconsin has become the latest community to see an outburst of violence and destruction amid protests stemming from the police shooting of Jacob Blake last month.
Following days of protests that devolved into rioting and looting after dark, the Kenosha Police Department revealed that a substantial number of those arrested on suspicion of various related crimes are from out of town, as reported by National Review.
A majority live out of town
The news came as part of a news update provided by the agency on Sunday.
According to that statement, 175 people were arrested between Aug. 24 and Aug. 30. Of that number, 102 suspects had home addresses in cities other than Kenosha.
While the department did not offer further specifics about their identities, the news release did note that a total of 44 different cities were represented among the arrestees’ home towns.
Of all those facing criminal counts, 69 are expected to be charged with curfew violations. Another 34 face various counts, including allegations of burglary, weapons charges, and possessing controlled substances, among other crimes.
The nature of the other suspects’ charges were not immediately available.
“Different people with different agendas”
As for weapons recovered from the scene of the protests, police said at least 20 firearms were seized. Additionally, three vehicles were reportedly towed. Each of the incidents are now being investigated as part of an ongoing criminal probe.
According to Fox News, an anonymous tip led local police to investigate a possible caravan of vehicles being used to transport protesters and gear to the Kenosha area.
The resulting surveillance reportedly focused on vehicles including a bread truck, a minivan, and a school bus. Police moved in on one of the vehicles at a gas station as occupants were allegedly filling containers with gasoline.
“A huge part of me thinks that a lot of our issues start when different people with different agendas come here to Kenosha,” said Sheriff David Beth during a press conference on Thursday.
His point appears to be bolstered by the high rate of out-of-towners among protesters being arrested during the ongoing protests. Now it is up to local, state, and even federal authorities to send the message that those outside instigators are not welcome.