UPDATED 8:43 AM PT – Tuesday, January 5, 2021
Authorities in Kenosha, Wisconsin have declared a state of emergency ahead of a decision on whether to charge officers involved in Jacob Blake’s shooting. Kenosha County Sheriff David Beth made that announcement in anticipation of “rioting, looting and civil unrest.”
BREAKING: 🚨Emergency Declerarion declared by Kenosha Co. Sheriff ahead of charging decision in #JacobBlake police shooting.
“The city and county of Kenosha may experience rioting, looting, damage to county and city property and civil unrest.”
— Tanner Kahler (@tannerkahler) January 5, 2021
According to reports, it’s not a typical declaration as it only allows department employees to work longer hours in preparation of violent protests. Some small businesses in the area have begun boarding up their windows despite the pleas for non-violence.
Meanwhile, demonstrators gathered on Monday night in anticipation while asking their community to gather in support and urge authorities to take action. A county-wide curfew and other traditional state of emergency measures have not yet been imposed.
Blake was shot seven times last August by officer Rusten Sheskey who was attempting to detain him alongside two other officers. All officers involved in the incident were placed on administrative leave pending the district attorney’s investigation.
The particular incident further fueled left-wing protests and riots sweeping the nation since the death of George Floyd last May. Following the shooting, rioters tore through the streets of Kenosha, where they destroyed many local businesses and set fire to multiple cars. The Kenosha riots ultimately lead to two deaths.