For the third night in a row, demonstrators and police clashed on the streets of Kenosha, with unrest continuing in the aftermath of the shooting of Jacob Blake over the weekend.
On Monday night and into Tuesday morning firefighters responded to calls of nearly 40 different blazes in the city, and late Tuesday night more clashes were reported, with police firing tear gas at demonstrators, who had previously thrown projectiles at officers.
During the day Tuesday, peaceful protests had once again taken place, but as night fell the tension continued to build, and in spite of a curfew that went into effect at 8 p.m., many remained on the streets near Civic Center Park in downtown Kenosha.
Police clad in riot gear were summoned to the area once again after demonstrators tried to push over newly-erected safety fences, and tear gas was fired at some in the crowd who attempted to breach the barriers.
Eventually an unlawful assembly was declared by police, and skirmishes between officers and demonstrators continued into the late evening hours.
Now, residents are fearful of even more fires and of more unrest in the city as tension continues to build.
“The smoke was just horrible,” local resident Shrise told NBC 5. “It was all in the house, and you couldn’t’ even leave your windows open.”
Block after block of smoldering debris could be seen in the daylight of Tuesday, and the damage that had begun Sunday night after Blake was shot multiple times in the back by a Kenosha police officer continued to spread.
In an effort to quell some of the unrest, Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers declared a state of emergency on Tuesday, doubling the National Guard presence to 250 soldiers in the city. Additional police have also been called in from other departments in Wisconsin to help enforce curfews.
Kenosha residents say they completely understand peaceful protests, but condemn what they say are outside actors who are taking advantage of the unrest to loot and to cause property damage.
“We have another group that seems to be hijacking them,” Kenosha resident Aaron Petroski said. “That’s what immediately concerned me. A second group splintered off and went through uptown and burned buildings, and you realize immediately that they aren’t concerned with human life.”