Demonstrators gathered again Saturday in Kenosha, Wisconsin, after a tumultuous week of protest and counterprotest over the police shooting of a Black man.
“Justice is a bare minimum,” Lieutenant Governor Mandela Barnes told a crowd of over a thousand, according the Associated Press. “Justice should be guaranteed to everybody in this country.”
Kenosha has been the center of the latest protests after a police officer in the southeastern Wisconsin city shot Jacob Blake seven times in the back last Sunday. Two nights later, two protesters were killed and a third was injured in a subsequent shooting. A hearing to extradite the 17-year-old suspect in that case, Kyle Rittenhouse, from his home state of Illinois was delayed for 30 days.
Saturday’s demonstration was attended by several family members of Blake, who’s reportedly partially paralyzed. His sister, Letetra Widman, said the police had shown “their true colors,” adding that she was ready “to stand up not just for Jacob but for all the people who have not gotten justice.” His father also spoke.
Other protests and counterprotests were scheduled around the nation, near the end of this unsettled election-year summer. On Saturday afternoon, Chicago’s Magnificent Mile was the focus of both sides, slated to turn out within an hour of each other.
A Black Lives Matter march was scheduled at 5 p.m. local time, while a group organizing what it coined as “Back to the Blue Shopping Spree” called for its own demonstration an hour earlier.
“Are you done with seeing our police officers attacked with rocks, brick, frozen water bottles and incendiary devices?” asked an advertisement for the rally, according to a Twitter post.
The words echoed criticism the night before from President Donald Trump, who took aim at people protesting racism and police brutality, saying they are “just looking for trouble.” He later said he will “probably” visit Kenosha.
“They’re not protesters,” Trump said Friday at a rally at the airport in Manchester, New Hampshire. “Those are anarchists, they’re agitators, they’re rioters, they’re looters.”
Speaking in Texas on Saturday, Trump was asked by a reporter about Rittenhouse and the contention that he acted in self defense.
“That’s under investigation right now and they’ll be reporting back to me over the next 24 hours, 48 hours maybe, max, and we’ll have a comment about it,” he said. “Right now we’re looking at it very, very carefully.”
With Trump running an explicitly law-and-order re-election campaign, Democratic nominee Joe Biden told the National Guard Association Saturday he would never put them “in the middle of politics or personal vendettas.”
“I’ll never use the military as a prop or as a private militia to violate rights of fellow citizens,” he said in a virtual talk from his home in Delaware, according the Washington Post. “That’s not law and order. You don’t deserve that.”
Trump’s comments Friday came as thousands gathered at the Lincoln Memorial to demand racial equality and criminal justice reform in what they called the “Get Your Knee Off Our Necks” march on the 57th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream Speech.”
Some protesters who stayed on after the march in the nation’s capital Friday eventually ended up in tussles with the police, temporarily shutting down major roads including the Key Bridge and the Whitehurst Freeway, Washington Post reported.
In Minneapolis, where the killing of George Floyd sparked the Black Lives Matter protests earlier this year, former police officer Derek Chauvin asked a judge to dismiss murder charges against him for Floyd’s death, CNN reported. His lawyer said there’s not probable cause to support charges of second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter, CNN said, while prosecutors sought stricter sentences than recommended by state guidelines.
In Portland, Oregon, the site of the nation’s most enduring recent protests, about a dozen protesters gathered in the lobby of Mayor Ted Wheeler’s condominium Friday night, the Oregonian reported. More than 150 more were on the street outside the building, demanding a reduction in the police budget and the resignation of the mayor and police commissioner, the newspaper said. Fires were set outside a police union building early Saturday morning, CNN reported.
In Raleigh, North Carolina, a peaceful march through the city’s downtown Friday night ended with scattered vandalism where 14 were arrested after the 10 p.m. curfew, the News & Observer reported.
Trump also rebuked professional sports athletes and teams for canceling games to protest racial injustice and said that the National Basketball Association “is going to destroy basketball.”
“You know when you watch sports, you want to relax, but this is a whole different world,” Trump told reporters aboard Air Force One on Friday night after the campaign rally. ”It’s terrible. I think what they’re doing to the NBA in particular is going to destroy basketball.”
The NBA playoffs will resume on Saturday after players sat out games in protest against the Blake shooting — and the Milwaukee Bucks and Orlando Magic played Game 5. In announcing the agreement, National Basketball Players Association Executive Director Michele Roberts and NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said the league would form a social justice coalition to focus on voting access, civic engagement and advocating for police and criminal justice reform.
In an interview with Bloomberg News, Boston Celtics star Enes Kanter compared the unrest in the U.S. with upheaval in his native Turkey several years ago. He lamented America’s political polarization. “Our goal should be the same,” he said, “what can we do to make this country better together.”
“Back in 2015, things just started to get heated up in Turkey.. there were lots of riots and people asking for their rights…I don’t want America to get into the same situation.”
Celtics star @EnesKanter compared 2020 in America to Turkey in 2015
3:36 PM · Aug 28, 2020
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