Opinions and Legal Insights

Two Killed As Armed ‘Militia’ Patrols Kenosha Protests

Two people were killed and another was wounded in Kenosha, Wi., during the third night of unrest after the police shooting of a Black man, Jacob Blake, the Associated Press reports. The shootings were reported at 11:45 p.m. in an area where protests have taken place, said police Lt. Joseph Nosalik. They happened after police drove away protesters from a courthouse that had been the site of the main clashes between protesters and authorities. Kenosha County Sheriff David Beth said armed people had been patrolling the city, but he did not know if the shooter was among them. “They’re a militia,” Beth said. “They’re like a vigilante group.”

Cellphone video of at least two shootings shows what appears to be a white man with a semi-automatic rifle jogging down the middle of a street as a crowd and some police officers follow him. Someone in the crowd can be heard asking “What did he do?” and another responds that the man had shot someone. The man with the gun stumbles and falls. As he is approached by people in the crowd, he fires from the seated position, hitting at least two people, including one who falls over and another who stumbles away to frantic shouts of “Medic! Medic!” Protester Devin Scott said, “We were all chanting ‘Black lives matter’ at the gas station and then we heard, boom, boom, and I told my friend, that’s not fireworks.” The shooting victims were not identified as of Wednesday morning. The lawyer for Jacob Blake’s family said Blake was shot several times by police on Sunday and that it would “take a miracle” for him to walk again.