After a tumultuous week of protests in Kenosha, Wisconsin, Blue Lives Matter supporters gathered peacefully to stand up for local law enforcement on Sunday.
Protests in the city began after officers responded to a domestic violence call on Aug. 23, resulting in the shooting of Jacob Blake, a black man.
The shooting prompted a pair of tweets from Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers.
While we do not have all of the details yet, what we know for certain is that he is not the first Black man or person to have been shot or injured or mercilessly killed at the hands of individuals in law enforcement in our state or our country.
— Governor Tony Evers (@GovEvers) August 24, 2020
The evening ended in protesters setting a car dealership ablaze, according to Fox News.
— Cassidy Williams (@CassidyWtv) August 24, 2020
During the next night’s protest, 17-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse of Antioch, Illinois, shot and killed two protesters and is now facing a first-degree intentional homicide charge. He has received the adamant support of Attorney Lin Wood, who is working to get the teen legal representation.
Only after all of this did Evers finally agree to President Donald Trump’s repeated petition for state governors to request the aid of federal forces to resolve the ongoing civil unrest they seem to be unable — or unwilling — to quell themselves.
…TODAY, I will be sending federal law enforcement and the National Guard to Kenosha, WI to restore LAW and ORDER!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 26, 2020
But in contrast to all of the violence and destruction, Sunday showcased a peaceful rally of people who support law and order and stand against the angry broad strokes painted against police and their supporters by the BLM movement.
Kenosha News spoke with a few of the attendees at Civic Center Park — the site of the past week’s anti-police protests — allowing them a chance to express their mindset behind supporting local law enforcement.
Attendee Chris Eakins said he believes rallies are good to “show numbers” against the numerous loud voices of protesters.
“There are people that support police officers. It seems like there’s more that don’t these days than do,” Eakins said.
“I just wanna show numbers, really. I think that genuinely they care about us and that they’re here to help people.”
About 100 people attended the rally.
“It’s insane. I didn’t think stuff like this would be happening so close to us, close to home,” Burlington resident Grace McCormick said.
Racine resident Randall Wirth made a distinction between Black Lives Matter the organization and the statement itself.
“I support this cause. I support the notion that black lives do matter; however, I don’t support the organization Black Lives Matter,” he said.
“I don’t support the burning, looting and rioting of our hometowns. I don’t support innocent people being attacked, their homes burned down, children being misplaced, the hard work that people do to live their life burned down and attacked.”
Mary Wirth expressed her empathy for law enforcement and federal troops, knowing the risks they take when they are called upon even in the streets of their hometown.
“[We’re showing] support for the police officers who are out here day in and day out, who aren’t spending time with their families, who are worried if they’re gonna be able to see their kids the next day. [The] national guard who are from all over Wisconsin who serve and are probably 18, 19 years old, wondering if they’re gonna be able to come home and see their mom, and [if] they’re gonna be killed in their own streets.”
Even supporters from out-of-state came to rally for Kenosha law enforcement.
“I’d like everything solved in a peaceful manner, not rioting,” said Lisa Azzano from Beach Park, Illinois. “I don’t think it’s fair for the innocent people, who have their businesses are being destroyed. They have nothing to do with this.
“I don’t know why the mayor and governors of these states are not doing anything, basically letting the rioters have all their opinion and their destruction — what about all these people? These are taxpaying people. They deserve protection under the Constitution, under the Bill of Rights … and they’re not getting it.”
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