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    September 21

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Trump to visit Kenosha

REUTERS,

Added 30 August 2020

kenosha-protests

Jacob Blake's father speaks to crowd gathered at Civic Centre Park, in Kenosha, Wisconsin, U.S, August 29, 2020. (Reuters)

KENOSHA – About 1 000 people joined a mile-long march in Kenosha, Wisconsin on Saturday, chanting “Black Lives Matter” and “No Justice, No Peace” as U.S. President Donald Trump announced plans to visit the violence-rocked city next week.

Jacob Blake Sr, father of the 29-year-old Black man whose shooting by a white police officer last Sunday sparked the unrest, 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,” he told a gathering at a park that was the hub of protests in support of his son, Jacob Blake Jr. “Stop it. Show ‘em for one night we don’t have to tear up nothing.”

The shooting of Blake, in front of three of his children, turned the mostly white city of 100 000 people south of Milwaukee into the latest flashpoint in a summer of U.S.-wide demonstrations against police brutality and racism.

Trump will visit Kenosha on Tuesday to meet law enforcement officials and assess damage in the city, a White House official told reporters on Saturday.

Blake, 29, survived but was left badly wounded and paralysed from the waist down. He will likely participate via video from his hospital room in a court hearing next week about criminal charges that predated the shooting, his lawyer told Reuters on Saturday, adding he would plead not guilty.

Anger at Blake’s shooting, captured on video that went viral, led to street skirmishes; protesters hurled firecrackers and bricks at police in riot gear who fired volleys of tear gas and rubber bullets. On Tuesday night a white teenager with a semi-automatic rifle shot three demonstrators, and two of them died.

In Kenosha on Saturday, people painted messages of unity on boards protecting storefronts after many businesses were burned to the ground in arson attacks and vandalism.

Residents hoped calm would hold for a fourth night as protesters, some wearing “Justice for Jacob” masks, spoke about the need for racial justice.

“We are tired,” said Darius Johnson, 27, of Milwaukee. “There is no excuse for this kind of racism. It could have been any one of us, my brother, my sister. It needs to stop.”

The 17-year-old suspect in Tuesday night’s killings, Kyle Rittenhouse, surrendered to police on Wednesday near his home in Illinois close to the Wisconsin border. Kenosha officials have been criticised for videos showing law enforcement agents giving him water before the burst of violence and acting chummy with armed militia men in the streets.

By Friday, more than 1 000 National Guard soldiers were on the ground in Kenosha, many from out of state.  (Reuters)

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