Chaos prevails in many U.S. cities as two people were shot dead and one person was injured on Tuesday night in the city of Kenosha during anti-racism protests over the police shooting of another black man.
Kenosha County Sheriff David Beth said one victim had been shot in the head and another in the chest late Tuesday, just before midnight, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Beth didn’t know where the other person was shot, but his or her injuries are not believed to be life-threatening. The shooting was under investigation and no other information was released. The victims have not been identified. The Kenosha protests have drawn self-styled militias, patrolling the streets with rifles or standing guard outside businesses to protect them from looters or arsonists.
Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers had called for calm Tuesday, while also declaring a state of emergency under which he doubled the National Guard deployment in Kenosha from 125 to 250. The night before crowds destroyed dozens of buildings and set more than 30 fires in the city's downtown. “We cannot allow the cycle of systemic racism and injustice to continue,” said Evers, who is facing mounting pressure from Republicans over his handling of the unrest. “We also cannot continue going down this path of damage and destruction.”
Jacob Blake, who was shot multiple times by police in Wisconsin, is paralyzed, and it would “take a miracle” for him to walk again, his family’s attorney said Tuesday, while calling for the officer who opened fire to be arrested and others involved to lose their jobs.
The shooting is the latest videotaped incident to spark demonstrations against police brutality and systematic racism. The killing of George Floyd, an unarmed black man, by a police officer who knelt on his neck in May in Minnesota catalyzed a nationwide protest movement that has pushed for police reform and introspection on racism. Anti-racism protesters also clashed with police in Portland, Oregon, and Louisville, Kentucky, on Tuesday night, part of a wave of national protests.
Portland police declared a riot late on Monday and made 25 arrests as fires were lit at the offices of the police association following a gathering near the city's North Lombard Street and North Campbell Avenue area. Police used tear gas to disperse the Monday night demonstration. President Donald Trump's administration in July deployed federal forces to Portland to crack down on the protests. On Friday, Trump denounced the demonstrations as "crazy" and said cities run by Democrats had descended into chaos.
Amnesty International has accused police across the country of violating the human rights of protesters during the anti-racism demonstrations in the country. In a report published earlier this month, Amnesty said police repeatedly used physical violence, chemical irritants like tear gas or pepper spray and "less lethal" projectiles like rubber bullets to disperse peaceful protests.
According to the report, recent events had raised concerns regarding "the rights to life, to the security of the person, to equal protection of the law, to freedom from discrimination and to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly." The human rights organization lists 125 independent "incidents of unnecessary and excessive use of force by law enforcement agencies" in 40 states and the capital.
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