About 1000 people have joined a mile-long march in Kenosha, Wisconsin, chanting “Black Lives Matter” and “No justice, no peace” as National Guard units stood by to prevent a resurgence of violence that rocked the city earlier in the week.
Jacob Blake Sr, the father of the 29-year-old black man whose shooting by a white police officer on Sunday sparked the unrest, called on protesters to refrain from the looting and vandalism he said detracted from the push for progress.
“If we tear it up we have nothing,” he told a park gathering in support of his son, Jacob Blake Jr. “Stop it. Show ’em for one night we don’t have to tear up nothing.”
Attorney Benjamin Crump: “It is going to take a miracle for Jacob Blake Jr. to ever walk again.”
He said the bullets severed Blake’s spinal cord and shattered some of his vertebrae. He added that Blake is in surgery today and still fighting for his life.
— Yamiche Alcindor (@Yamiche) August 25, 2020
President Donald Trump said on Saturday he would likely visit Kenosha, without providing details.
The shooting of Blake, in front of three of his children, turned the mostly white city of 100,000 people into the latest flashpoint in a summer of US-wide demonstrations against police brutality and racism.
Blake, 29, survived but was left badly wounded and paralysed from the waist down.
Outrage led to street skirmishes between protesters and police.
On Tuesday night, three demonstrators were shot – two fatally – by a white teenager armed with a semi-automatic rifle.
This is slow motion of the incident last night, What do you think? pic.twitter.com/BuJBAXzmN5
— Luke Rudkowski (@Lukewearechange) August 26, 2020
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.
The 17-year-old suspect, Kyle Rittenhouse, was arrested on Wednesday near his Illinois home close to the Wisconsin border. He will be extradited to face charges including first-degree intentional homicide.
His lawyers say he will argue self-defence.
Since midweek, the unrest has subsided in Kenosha. By Friday, more than 1000 National Guard soldiers were on the ground.