Following the viral spread of a video showing the police shooting of Jacob Blake in Wisconsin this week, that state became the latest scene of widespread civil unrest.
In response to destructive protests throughout recent days, Democratic Gov. Tony Evers called in members of the National Guard, as reported by WTMJ.
The event that triggered recent demonstrations occurred on Sunday evening when police officers responded to a residence in Kenosha County on a domestic disturbance call.
Details surrounding the events leading up to the shooting are still unclear and the case remains under investigation.
In the video clip that circulated widely online in the aftermath of the shooting, Blake can be seen apparently walking away from the officers and attempting to enter the driver’s door of a vehicle parked on the street.
At that point, a series of shots rang out. Amid ongoing protests stemming from the death of George Floyd while in police custody earlier this year, this incident led to widespread calls for defunding police departments and translated to protests in the streets near the scene of the shooting.
Reporters provided footage of fires and other destructive elements of the ongoing protests.
Things have very much taken a turn in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Multiple locations now burning. pic.twitter.com/OR53avc6DW
— Omar Jimenez (@OmarJimenez) August 25, 2020
Evers issued a statement declaring a state of emergency in the county and explaining the impact of his decision.
“This is a limited mobilization of the National Guard focused on supporting the needs of local first responders to protect critical infrastructure, such as utilities and fire stations, and to ensure Kenoshians are able to assemble safely,” he said.
The American Civil Liberties Union expressed its displeasure in a statement calling the move “unnecessary” and asserting that citizens “have a constitutional right to express their indignation over the police shooting of Jacob Blake, as well as to demand an end to the epidemic of police violence that has systematically harmed and killed Black and brown people for generations.”
While it is undeniably true that Americans are afforded the right to peaceably protest, the type of property damage and mayhem recorded on the streets of Wisconsin this week is an altogether different matter.