News World Teen charged with murder as Wisconsin protests turn deadly, civilians bear arms

Teen charged with murder as Wisconsin protests turn deadly, civilians bear arms

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A teenager has been arrested and charged with murder as a third night of riots in Wisconsin left two people dead, with armed civilians taking to the streets.

The state’s governor has called in 500 soldiers with the National Guard to help local police in riot gear contain violent protests sparked by the police shooting of black man Jacob Blake.

The Wisconsin man was left paralysed from the waist down after being shot several times in the back, in broad daylight, as his three children watched on in horror.

The Kenosha protests have drawn self-appointed militias – usually white men – patrolling the streets with rifles slung over their shoulders or at the ready.

Armed civilians stand in the streets of Kenosha to protect the area against the arson during third day of protests. Photo: Getty

Kenosha, where Mr Blake lives, descended into chaos for a third night, with videos posted online showing people running and screaming amid a volley of gunfire.

A young white man wielding a semi-automatic rifle was caught on video opening fire in the middle of the street.

“I just killed somebody,” he could be heard saying at one point during the rampage.

Crowds proceeded to chase him down the street after they believed he had shot another man.

One pursuer took a flying kick at him after he fell to the ground, and another tried to grab his weapon. He appeared to be shot at close range and fell to the ground.

Another video showed a man who appeared to be shot in the head as people nearby tried to treat him, and another showed a man with a severe arm wound.

The gunman later identified as 17-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse from Antioch, Illinois, was arrested and taken into police custody, charged with first-degree intentional homicide in Kenosha, a Lake County court official said.

“A senseless tragedy like this cannot happen again,” Wisconsin governor Tony Evers said in a statement.

“I again ask those who choose to exercise their First Amendment rights please do so peacefully and safely, as so many did last night.

“I also ask the individuals who are not there to exercise those rights to please stay home and let local first responders, law enforcement and members of the Wisconsin National Guard do their jobs.”

Mr Evers authorised the deployment of 500 members of the National Guard to Kenosha, doubling the number of troops.

Protests continue following the police shooting of Jacob Blake two days earlier. Photo: AAP

Mr Trump tweeted that troops were on their way to Kenosha to “restore LAW and ORDER!”

“We will NOT stand for looting, arson, violence, and lawlessness on American streets. My team just got off the phone with Governor Evers who agreed to accept federal assistance (Portland should do the same!)…” he tweeted.

The bloodshed followed a night of skirmishes that had appeared to turn calm, settling down after police fired tear gas and rubber bullets at protesters who defied a curfew.

In this September 2019 selfie photo taken in Evanston, Ill., Adria-Joi Watkins poses with her second cousin Jacob Blake. Photo: AAP

Kenosha has been rocked by protests since Sunday, when police shot Mr Blake at close range as he walked away from two officers and opened his car door.

Anti-racism protesters also clashed with police in Portland, Oregon, and Louisville, Kentucky, on Tuesday night, part of a wave of national protests that have continued since the May 25 death of African-American man George Floyd in Minneapolis, where he was pinned to the street under the knee of a white police officer.

Police arrested more than 60 people in a protest march in Louisville, Kentucky, organised for Breonna Taylor, a black woman killed in March by police officers who burst into her apartment.

-with AAP