There’s been a second night of unrest in the Wisconsin city of Kenosha, with police again firing tear gas at hundreds of Black Lives Matter protesters who defied a curfew to demand racial justice over the shooting of Jacob Blake.
Local media kenoshanews.com described “loud and chaotic” scenes outside the Kenosha Public Safety Building on Monday afternoon when Mayor John Antaramian tried to address the crowd.
They say Antaramian left the crowd to head into the building to deliver his press conference, but some of the protesters, angry that Antaramian would not address them and they were not allowed into the press conference, attempted to block the mayor’s entry.
Police officers guarding that entrance to the Public Safety Building and protesters then got into a scuffle, and an entrance door was broken off its hinges. At that point, officers wearing riot gear jumped outside the entrance with batons and pepper sprayed several protesters closest to the entrance.
Antaramian had vowed that “justice is done for everyone” and that all of those involved were entitled to “due process.”
The officers involved have been placed on administrative leave, which is standard practice in a shooting. Authorities have released no further details about the officers.
As the evening progressed the peaceful demonstration became a violent clash. Reuters report that arsonists set several buildings ablaze, including commercial and government buildings, along with vehicles in at least two car dealership lots. Police again fired tear gas, rubber bullets and smoke bombs to disperse the crowd.
Protester Porche Bennett, 31, of Kenosha, told Reuters: “It’s people from out of town doing this. We’ve been shopping there since we were kids and they set it on fire”
As mentioned earlier, US secretary of state Mike Pompeo is expected to break political convention by appearing at the RNC tonight while still serving as the nation’s top ambassador. He is travelling today from Jerusalem to Khartoum, where he will meet with Sudanese prime minister Abdalla Hamdo.
Pompeo has tweeted this morning about the historic nature of his journey – throwing into even sharper relief the partisan nature of appearing at the RNC in the same week.
One of the break-out hits of last night’s RNC, on social media, anyway, was Kimberly Guilfoyle’s loud and enthusiastic speech to an empty room. Give it a watch here.
Good morning. We were promised an uplifting optimistic view of the future of America, but the first night of the Republican nation convention (RNC) seemed mostly spent painting an apocalyptic vision of a Joe Biden presidency instead. Here’s a catch up on what happened, and some of what we might expect from today.
- Donald Trump and Mike Pence were formally adopted as the Republican party ticket for November.
- It’s been very much a one-man show. There is no Republican policy platform this year other than “the party’s strong support for president Donald Trump and his administration”. David Smith described last night as “a two-hour glimpse into the upside-down world of Trump TV”.
- Mark and Patricia McCloskey, who face charges for pointing guns at peaceful protesters in June, claimed Democrats want to ‘abolish suburbs’.
- The convention also kept factcheckers busy as the RNC peddled falsehoods about the coronavirus pandemic. 503 deaths and 40,309 new coronavirus cases were reported in the US yesterday. The totals, according to the Johns Hopkins University tracker are now 5,740,909 Covid-19 cases with 177,279 US deaths. The highest incidence and death toll in the world.
- US postmaster general Louis DeJoy struggled to answer basic questions about the price of mail as he continued to defend his leadership amid the USPS crisis.
- There’s been a second night of protest and unrest in Kenosha, Wisconsin over the shooting of Jacob Blake at the weekend. Elsewhere there’s been a riot declared by police in Portland, Oregan.
- Speakers expected at the RNC tonight include Melania Trump, Eric and Tiffany Trump, Kentucky senator Rand Paul, Iowa gov Kim Reynolds and Covington teen Nick Sandmann.
- Mike Pompeo is also due to appear, breaking convention by appearing at a partisan campaigning event while holding the US secretary of state role. He’s currently travelling from Israel to Sudan on a mission as the nation’s top diplomat.
- Primary season isn’t quite over yet – there are some Republican run-offs in Oklahoma today.
I’m Martin Belam, and I’ll be here with you for the next few hours. You can get in touch with me at [email protected]