Police in Kenosha have provided a breakdown of their law enforcement activity in the week of unrest in the wake of the shooting of Jacob Blake.
The Kenosha Police Department said in a statement that a total of 175 people have been arrested since Aug. 24, the day after Blake, who was the subject of an arrest warrant for alleged sexual assault, suffered serious injuries in a confrontation with police.
Video of the incident showed Blake appearing to resist arrest before walking around his car while ignoring orders from the police, who had guns drawn, opening the driver side door, and reaching in. He was then shot seven times in the back by an officer. A second video showed him struggling with the officers, and state investigators said he had been tased twice, but to little effect. He survived the encounter and is recovering in the hospital, though family members and his attorney have said he is paralyzed from the waist down.
The shooting sparked a wave of protests, some turning violent, with rioters torching half a dozen buildings, including a number of small businesses. On the third night of unrest, there was a shooting that resulted in one injury and two deaths. Authorities imposed a curfew in a bid to quell the violence.
According to Kenosha police, 69 of the 175 arrests in the past week were solely for curfew violations, while 34 were arrested for breaking curfew plus additional charges, including burglary, possession of a controlled substance, and carrying a concealed weapon, with police seizing more than 20 firearms. Of those arrested, 44 were from cities other than Kenosha.
Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), in an op-ed published by Fox News, warned that the violence would spread unless authorities mount a tougher response “to restore order and deter criminals.”
“Another American city is smoldering because weak politicians failed in their most basic duty: protecting the lives and property of their citizens,” Cotton wrote.
“The carnage will continue until mayors and governors get tough and allow the police to do their job. A return to normalcy won’t come through weakness and passivity, but only by a decisive and overwhelming show of force that convinces these anarchists they can’t blackmail and burn America into submission.”
President Donald Trump, in a press briefing on Aug. 29, expressed interest in visiting Kenosha, with White House deputy press secretary Judd Deere later confirming that the president plans to visit the city on Sept. 1.
“The White House has been humbled by the outreach of individuals from Kenosha who have welcomed the president’s visit and are longing for leadership to support local law enforcement and businesses that have been vandalized,” Deere said in a statement.
“President Trump looks forward to visiting on Tuesday and helping this great city heal and rebuild.”
Senior Trump campaign adviser Lara Trump told Fox News on Aug. 30 that the president’s team was still working on setting up a meeting between the president and Blake’s family.
“He’s reached out to the Blake family,” she said. “I don’t know if they were able to connect yet. And I don’t know for sure if that’s on the agenda.”
The police officer who shot Blake has been placed on administrative leave and is under investigation by the Wisconsin Division of Criminal Investigation under the state’s Department of Justice.