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Wisconsin Governor Declares State of Emergency Following Kenosha Protests

© REUTERS / STEPHEN MATURENA man walks by an armoured vehicle as B&L Office Furniture burns in the background as protests turn to fires after a Black man, identified as Jacob Blake, was shot several times by police last night in Kenosha, Wisconsin, U.S. August 24, 2020
A man walks by an armoured vehicle as B&L Office Furniture burns in the background as protests turn to fires after a Black man, identified as Jacob Blake, was shot several times by police last night in Kenosha, Wisconsin, U.S. August 24, 2020 - Sputnik International
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A wave of violent protests spanned the US city Kenosha, Wisconsin, following the release of a video that quickly went viral on social media showing white police officers shooting an African American man named Jacob Blake.

Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers declared a state of emergency on Tuesday, following a wave of violent protests rocking the city of Kenosha that have continued since 23 August and has seen violence, arson and vandalism.

The governor's executive order called to active duty in the state "such additional elements of the Wisconsin National Guard as the Adjutant General deems necessary to support local law enforcement, protect critical infrastructure and cultural institutions, and provide support to first responders".

Evers noted that the Wisconsin National Guard "may not be used to impede the ability of people to peacefully protest or impede the ability of the media to report on demonstrations".

Earlier in the week, elements of Wisconsin National Guard were summoned by Evers to "ensure that Wisconsinites are able to assemble safely".

Violent protests spanned the Wisconsin city of Kenosha following the release of footage showing white police officers shooting an African American man named Jacob Blake. Blake survived the shooting after taking at least 8 bullets in the back, but is now paralysed from the waist down, angry protesters marched in Kenosha, setting cars and buildings on fire, smashing windows and clashing with police.

Video shared in social media showed a construction crew erecting a fence around a federal courthouse of Kenosha, also revealing the aftermath of looting and arson in the city.

​The footage showed the remains of buildings destroyed by rioters.

​Nationwide protests against police brutality and racism have spanned the United States after the killing of George Floyd - a black man -  while being detained by white police officers in Minneapolis in late May. In some regions, following a heavy-handed police response to  peaceful demonstrations, violent rioting occurred, with some protesters vandalising buildings and clashing with police. There have been additional calls in the US media and in many protests to "defund the police".

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