On Tuesday night, Kenosha residents took to the streets to exercise their right to protest in response to the senseless shooting of Jacob Blake by a police officer.
Right before midnight, a 17-year-old white boy (who shall remain nameless due to the Dylann Roof effect), shot three people, killing two, with an AR-15. The police have not released the names of any of the victims.
The gunman was caught by police in Illinois the next day and charged with first-degree murder.
As the nation tries to reckon with the latest in a long string of protester murders, more videos have surfaced from that night in Wisconsin.
One such video shows the shooter just prior to the murders, proudly wearing his gun slung over his shoulder and talking with officers in a military tank. One officer tosses him and his fellow armed white men bottles of water and says,
“Thank you, we appreciate you guys being out here.”
Wisconsin is an open-carry state but you must be older than 18 to carry an assault-style rifle (like the AR-15 that the gunman had). At no point did the officers ask the shooter for ID to check his age.
Kenosha Police Chief Daniel Miskinis addressed the video in a press conference and said,
“Our deputies would toss a water to anybody… You’re asking me to tell you what one person did. I can’t tell you that.”
Miskinis also blamed the protesters for their own deaths, saying that if they hadn’t been out past curfew then they wouldn’t have been shot. He said,
“Persons who were out after the curfew became engaged in some type of disturbance, and persons were shot. Everybody involved was out after the curfew. I’m not going to make a great deal of that, but the point is the curfew is in place to protect. Had persons not been out involved in violation of that, perhaps the situation that unfolded would not have happened.”
Tuesday’s protests were in response to the shooting of Jacob Blake, who was shot seven times in the back point-blank by police officer Rusten Sheskey. Jacob survived the shooting but is currently paralyzed from the waist down.
“The medical diagnosis right now is that he is paralyzed. And because those bullets severed his spinal cord and shattered some of his vertebrae … it is going to take a miracle for Jacob Blake Jr. to ever walk again.”
He added that Jacob had to have a lot of his intestine removed and is currently suffering from liver and kidney damage.
In a press conference on August 25, Jacob’s sister Letetra Widman said,
“I’m not sad, I’m not sorry, I’m angry and I’m tired. I have not cried one time, I stopped crying years ago. I’m numb — we have been watching police kill Black people for years. I don’t want your pity, I want change.”
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Lena Finkel is the Editor and Founder of Femestella. Prior to starting Femestella, she worked at People, InStyle, Tiger Beat, and Sesame Workshop (aka Sesame Street). She loves all things Real Housewives and The Challenge. When she’s not busy binge-watching TV, you can find her taking an absurd amount of photos of her tuxedo cat Tom.