Yesterday, police in Kenosha, Wisconsin shot a man half a dozen times at close range. Though we must always wait for all the facts, video of the incident looks real bad. The man was shot at point blank range and there is no apparent reason other than he is disobeying an order to stop walking away.
Within hours, protests had turned to riots. Businesses away from where the incident took place were burned, including a car dealership and the people woke up to find the city was ‘a scene out of hell’, according to one resident.
The Post Office in town had to be closed today because of the threat of violence. The Mayor, less than 24 hours after the incident, tried to hold a press conference to give an update on what was being done. The Mayor came outside to share information but was shouted down by the same people who were supposedly demanding answers. He was forced to move the conference and limit attendance because of the unruly protests and unsafe situation and even when he did, the doors were ripped off their hinges as rioters tried to get in.
Riots began even before the sun went down. If there is a crime committed, we should allow that criminal prosecution play out or at least see if that system is going to work. Rioting began before a police report could even be filed. The incident came late on a Sunday afternoon and the officers were already pulled off their jobs by morning.
It’s hard to imagine how the city could have moved faster to address the disturbing incident. Protesters say they want justice. But yet they did not wait for anyone to even respond and when the Mayor tried to respond, he couldn’t. Given the video, it’s easy to see how people are outraged. It’s not easy to understand how they immediately start rioting, burning a car dealership, smashing windows and doing a lot of damage to people who had nothing to do with the incident. There wasn’t even a chance to carry out any semblance of justice, much less an investigation.
This mindless lashing out only serves to defeat the purpose. It turns people off, because the object is clearly not justice. It’s blind violence against anyone and anything near by. We can’t keep reacting like this. It will destroy our country and worse, destroy out soul. Justice should be served. It should not be served by an angry mob.
Jacob Blake, the man shot by the officer, is listed in stable condition as of late Monday afternoon. May his family find strength is the difficult time.