KENOSHA, Wis. (CBS) — Unrest continued for the third night in a row in Kenosha, Wisconsin Tuesday night, over the shooting of Jacob Blake.
As CBS 2’s Charlie De Mar reported, peaceful protesters began circling at Civic Center Park near the Kenosha County Courthouse Tuesday evening. As the sun dipped away, the city’s 8 p.m. curfew kicked in for a declared state of emergency.
By the 10 p.m. hour, police cleared the park. Tear gas was deployed again.
A fence has been mounted guarding the courthouse. Officers with shields were originally behind the fence, but they drove armored vehicles out to disperse the crowd and officers systematically followed the armored vehicle to push the crowd back, deploying pepper spray and flash grenade-type devices.
The area near the courthouse has been a flashpoint for clashes between police and protesters in nights past. But on Tuesday night, the park brought out a mix of people including a group of armed Kenoshans going by the name “Armed Citizens to Protect Our Lives and Property.”
Protesters exchanged words with the armed group as they vowed to protect the city from continued looting and burning. Heavily-armed former Kenosha Ald. Kevin Mathewson was amongst the crowd.
“Last night, I saw law enforcement outnumbered by thug looting scumbags who were burning down buildings,” Mathewson said.
“I will stand in the way,” added Kevin Hladilek. “I will try and reason with them as much as I could possibly do.”
A protester yelled at the armed people, “That’s why you are out here now, because you want revenge for buildings.”
The Rev. Dr. Monica Cummings of Bradford Community Church added, “I question that gentleman showing up in military fatigues and sidearms at a peaceful protest.”
The unrest was a response to the shooting of Blake, who was shot at least seven times from behind, his family said, by a Kenosha police officer.
“They shot my son seven times – seven times, like he didn’t matter,” Blake’s father, Jacob Blake Sr., said at
a news conference earlier in the day. “But my son matters. He’s a human being and he matters.”
Blake’s mother called for calm. She condemned the looting and arsons that have been happening in Kenosha over the past couple of nights.
“It doesn’t reflect my son or my family,” Jackson said. “The violence and the destruction – he would be very unpleased. So I’m really asking and encouraging everyone in Wisconsin and abroad to take a moment in expanding your hearts. Citizens, police officers, firemen, clergy, politicians – do hake up justice on this level and examine your hearts.”
Meanwhile Tuesday, a protest on behalf of Blake was also held in Evanston.
“Enough is enough – we have got to say enough,” said Evanston Ald. Robin Rue Simmons (5th). “We are exhausted. We are all traumatized.”
Blake’s ties to Evanston go back many years.
The elder Blake was the pastor of the Ebenezer Baptist AME Church on Emerson Street from the late 1960s to the late 1970s. The church said the reverend led the charge for equal and fair housing practices in Evanston.
An outdoor service of lament will also be held at 2 p.m. Sunday outside the Ebenezer Baptist AME Church, 1109 Emerson St.