Kenosha Burns As Jacob Blake Protesters Set Dozens of Buildings on Fire

Dozens of buildings have been set on fire in Kenosha, Wisconsin, as protests sparked by the police shooting of a Black man continued into a second night.

The city is the latest flashpoint for unrest after a video circulated online showing Kenosha Police shooting Jacob Blake in the back seven times at close range as he leaned into his vehicle on Sunday.

Blake, 29, is currently in hospital in a serious condition. His three children were sat in the car at the time and witnessed the shooting, civil rights attorney Ben Crump—who is representing the Blake family—has said.

As anger over the shooting mounted on Monday, Democratic Gov. Tony Evers, who has condemned the shooting, activated the National Guard to assist law enforcement in the city. A curfew was put in place from 8 p.m. until 7 a.m. on Tuesday.

Neighbors say that they saw people setting fire to a mattress store. It appears to have spread to a bodega and Mexican restaurant, possibly more.

— Julie Bosman (@juliebosman) August 25, 2020

Things have very much taken a turn in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Multiple locations now burning.

— Omar Jimenez (@OmarJimenez) August 25, 2020

But hundreds of people remained outside the Kenosha County Courthouse in the city after the curfew took effect, prompting police to fire the first of several rounds of tear gas at around 8.30 p.m. in a bid to disperse them.

Social media posts showed people lighting numerous vehicles on fire in the streets, while some businesses were reportedly looted before being set ablaze.

Julie Bosman, a reporter with The New York Times, tweeted that protesters set off fireworks as police fired more tear gas outside the courthouse.

"As a large group of people dispersed in Kenosha tonight, they set cars on fire, smashed windows and knocked over street lamps," she tweeted.

"I saw a furniture store in flames, two trucks burning, and shattered glass on the streets. It took a lot of tear gas to get most of the crowd to leave."

According to Stephanie Haines, a reporter for TMJ4, there were several massive fires in downtown Kenosha. "The city is filled with smoke," she tweeted.

Several massive fires in downtown #Kenosha. The city is filled with smoke.

Photojournalist Tamott Wolverton shot this video.

— Stephanie Haines (@TMJ4Stephanie) August 25, 2020

Dump truck set ablaze outside the courthouse, one of many that got incinerated tonight #Kenosha #KenoshaRiots #KenoshaProtests

— Brendan Gutenschwager (@BGOnTheScene) August 25, 2020

Anarchy on the streets of Kenosha, Wisconsin tonight #KenoshaRiots #Kenosha #kenoshawisconsin

— Brendan Gutenschwager (@BGOnTheScene) August 25, 2020

Businesses were also burned down in the city's Uptown district as rioting spread.

Video shared by Bosman showed massive plumes of red smoke billowing from the burning businesses as firefighters worked to extinguish the flames. A line of National Guard members prevented people from getting close.

By midnight, a mattress store, a Mexican restaurant, a storefront church and a cellphone store were among the businesses devastated by fires.

A Department of Corrections building was also set on fire. One video on social media showed a number of small fires had been set inside an office, while others showed the entire building engulfed in flames.

Rioters set fire to the Wisconsin Department of Corrections #Kenosha #KenoshaRiots #KenoshaProtests

— Brendan Gutenschwager (@BGOnTheScene) August 25, 2020

Police in Kenosha said they were responding to a "domestic incident" when they encountered Blake shortly after 5 p.m. on Sunday. They did not reveal details about the incident, whether Blake was armed or what led up to the shooting.

The Wisconsin Department of Justice's Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) said in a news release that it is investigating the shooting with the assistance of the Wisconsin State Patrol and Kenosha County Sheriff's Office.

The department did not identify the officers involved in the shooting, but said they have all been placed on administrative leave.

A man walks by vehicules set on fire by protestors a few blocks from the Kenosha County Courthouse during a demonstration against the shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin on August 24, 2020. Kamil Krzaczynski/AFP via Getty Images