KENOSHA, Wis. (CBS/AP) — A couple hundred protesters marched through the streets of Kenosha overnight Wednesday into Thursday, chanting the name of Jacob Blake – the Black man shot in the back by police on Sunday – and expressing their anger loudly but peacefully.
The public should be outraged the #Kenosha police department is refusing to take questions.
Asking questions at a press conference is part of a journalist’s job – and answering them is part of a police chief’s responsibility https://t.co/vpUWvCwfmY
— Elizabeth Godvik (@GodvikNewzGirl) August 27, 2020
On Thursday, the curfew again began at 7 p.m. Meanwhile, a criminal complaint against Jacob Rittenhouse — the 17-year-old suspected of shooting and killing two people and wounding a third in Kenosha — was released late Thursday.
A criminal complaint has been issued against Kyle Rittenhouse, 17. He was charged with one count of first-degree intentional homicide, which carries a life sentence, one count of first-degree reckless homicide, which carries a prison sentence of up to 760 years, and one count of attempted first-degree intentional homicide.
He is also charged with one count of possession of a dangerous weapon by a person under 18, and two counts of recklessly endangering safety.
Prosecutors said Rittenhouse first shot and killed Joseph Rosenbaum, 36, who had thrown a plastic bag at him but did not hit him and who a witness said was trying to get his gun.
A group then chased Rittenhouse, who tripped and fell to the ground, prosecutors said. Video showed Anthony Huber, 26, reached for the gun and looked to be trying to pull it away from Rittenhouse, and Rittenhouse shot and killed Huber, prosecutors said.
Rittenhouse then shot and wounded a third man, Gaige Grosskreutz, 26, who froze, ducked, and took a step back with his hands in the air when Rittenhouse shot Huber, prosecutors said. Grosskreutz appeared to have a handgun in his right hand when he was shot, prosecutors said.
In a news conference, Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers and Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes said they are looking forward to seeing Kenosha rebuild, and to see broken systems and racial injustice taken on.
“Obviously, the city has gone through a lot of trauma over the last several days, and I had a chance to witness some of the damage that was done,” Evers said. “But the thing that gives me hope is the thousands of people from the Kenosha area who are volunteering as we speak to bring water to workers, to do great paintings, and spruce up the town area. At the end of the day when this is over, the people of Kenosha will be ready to make lives better, and they are already beginning that process.”
Barnes said the investigation into the Blake shooting continued, but there are some things that are clear regardless.
“We don’t need an investigation to note that this falls into a long and painful pattern of violence. This is a pattern of violence that happens against Black lives too often, and across this country. And as you all know, we saw more gun violence unfold on Tuesday night, when two protesters were tragically killed and injured by gunshots – someone that wasn’t looking to keep peace, an outside agitator; someone who came in from Illinois who was able to just walk the streets freely, like that’s something normal that we should just come to expect,” Barnes said.
National Guard troops are coming to Kenosha from Alabama, Arizona and Michigan.
The news conference ended abruptly because Kenosha officials said they would not take questions from the media.
Moments away from a press conference with Konesha County leaders and National Guard.
An officer comes out and says that press can’t ask questions.
— Charlie De Mar (@CharlieDeMar) August 27, 2020
Officials thanked people for following the 7:00 curfew. Major General Paul Knapp of the National Guard said “I’d like to emphasize that our mission here is to protect life safety here in the community, and bring back, bring back peace. We’re also very supportive of all of those who feel that want to peacefully demonstrate and we urge continued peaceful demonstration. But we also understand that there are people that are coming here into the area with the intent to destroy property, and to ruin lives. And those are the people that we need to all work together to keep them out of this community, keep them from doing the harm that they’re intending.”
Kenosha County Executive Jim Kreuser said they want to address the core issues that led to the unrest over the last several days. He said “there will be a coming together around the table in the coming days. I got 50 emails from people who want to participate in that. My message to the world, which you know is watching, is that Kenosha county is made up of good and caring people. I’m confident the events of Sunday, Monday and Tuesday nights isn’t who we really are. I call on our community to seek change with peace.”
Sheriff David Beth said Wednesday night was quiet, in part, because of fewer people from out of town making their way to Kenosha. “The feds have been here from the first day, helping with the exact same mission that everyone else is, to help protect the people of Kenosha.”
Beth said some people from the community are coming to the sheriff’s office with food for the officers.
“The people are coming with bags from McDonald’s. They’re coming with cold meat ,they’re coming with platters. They’re coming with all kinds of nourishment that our staff needs. And, and we’re getting lots of things. We get some people that don’t like us to. Got it. “But the overall majority of people that are coming that we’re hearing from tell us thank you for what we’re doing.”
He said he thinks the worst is over and they’re ready to handle future demonstrations.
“Last night, it was very peaceful. Tuesday night, not quite so peaceful, but it wasn’t too bad. Monday was our was our big night. Hopefully we’re over that hump of what
of what we have to face. We know there are still people out there instigators that are trying to cause trouble and fire things up. Got it. We’re going to do our best to deal with, with that too.”
Chief Dan Miskinis said while investigations are ongoing with what happened with the looting, there was no mention of Jacob Blake, the Black man who was shot seven times by Kenosha police on Sunday.
“Kenosha was once known for American Motors and the lakefront. We do not wish to be known for violence of any kind. We continue to investigate the previous looting and arson cases that took place on Sunday night and early into the morning. And we hope to bring those involved to justice for the court system. I have no additional information to share regarding the shooting deaths of those persons from the night before, but rest assured, those investigations continue.”
Miskinis added “most of those people want change. They want accountability. And those are things I think we all agree upon. So regardless of being part of the protest or not, we encourage everybody to obey the law and help keep us the community safe. So we can concentrate our efforts instead of controlling violence to building, harmony and peace.”
At a news conference with other Kenosha officials, Mayor John Antaramian said one of his priorities is to keep his residents safe. He said “the National Guard, the sheriff’s department, all of them are here to be protected. To help protect the community and also keep protesters who are peaceful protesters safe.”
Rev. Jesse Jackson joined NAACP leaders to address the shooting in Kenosha.
“We must have the justice,” Jackson said. “Police are not above the law. We must protest until the three of them (police) have been indicted and convicted.” Jackson is referring to the officer who shot Jacob Blake along with the two other officers at the scene during the shooting.
Jackson accused the Kenosha County Sheriff of making racist statements. Jackson shared a recording of the sheriff stating, “let’s put them away.”
Around 8 a.m., crews came out to clean and remove one of the trucks that was partly burned during an earlier protest. It appears the goal is to add more concrete blocks in its place.
Crews had to first replace the truck’s tires before they could begin the removal process.
Several people were also out cleaning graffiti from several buildings in Kenosha.
Several priests also showed up near the courthouse where most protests have taken place, to pray and ask for peace in Kenosha.
Wednesday night’s protests were much calmer than those that filled the streets in Kenosha earlier this week. As of early Thursday, there were no groups patrolling with long guns as there were during previous nights of protests of Blake’s shooting. Protesters also stayed away from a courthouse that had been the site of standoffs with law enforcement.
The latest protests came on the heels of a shooting Tuesday night that left two people dead and one wounded. The shooter has been identified as 17-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse, of Antioch, Illinois.
He went to Kenosha on Tuesday, armed with a rifle. Kenosha County Sheriff David Beth said it’s possible Rittenhouse was part of an armed group that asked his office to deputize them earlier Tuesday night to help protect property in Kenosha, something Beth refused to do.
Rittenhouse was arrested in Antioch on Wednesday, after authorities in Kenosha issued an arrest warrant for first-degree intentional homicide.
An extradition hearing is scheduled for Friday.
Wednesday night, Protesters marched past the intersection where two people were shot Tuesday night, stopping to gather around the spot where one person was shot, and to pray and lay flowers. Daijon Spann said he decided to join the demonstration because one of those killed the night before was a friend.
In the wake of the killings, Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers authorized the deployment of 500 members of the National Guard to Kenosha, doubling the number of troops in the city of 100,000 midway between Milwaukee and Chicago. The governor’s office said he is working with other states to bring in additional National Guard members and law officers.
Meantime, a 7 p.m. curfew in Kenosha is expected to last until Sunday, though protesters have repeatedly ignored it.
(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)