Footage from last night’s civil unrest in Kenosha, Wisconsin captured an iconic image of a car dealership set ablaze by rioters, despite their neighbor’s apparent support for Black Lives Matter as evidenced by their sign by the Bradford Community’s Unitarian Church’s board that featured “Black Lives Matter” in capital letters as the cars burned.
Standing tall towering above the fire a church marquee that reads “Black Lives Matter” as the Wisconsin city was rocked by a night of violence after a viral video appeared to show a police officer shoot a Kenosha man in the back as he was resisting arrest.
Although the dealership was targeted by rioters, the neighboring church marquee conferring support to the movement became the standout feature of last night’s events. The fire set in the car dealership at one point threatened the church, but the flames were extinguished before the place of worship could be harmed, per MRCTV.
The victim of the shooting, Jacob Blake, was left in critical condition after multiple shots were fired from close range as he tried to get into a car during the arrest. He is currently hospitalized in Milwaukee and the shooting immediately triggered an investigation as the clip circulated the internet.
Jacob Blake, the man shot by police in Kenosha, Wisc., has a history of assaulting police. He also has past charges for domestic abuse & a sex crime. There's a warrent for his arrest. BLM rioters are currently destroying the city to avenge the shooting. https://t.co/BErLeJdPwj pic.twitter.com/JhHcbis5kf
— Andy Ngô (@MrAndyNgo) August 24, 2020
Early reports suggest that three garbage trucks were burned, several businesses had their windows smashed, and a cop was reportedly smashed in the head with a brick in events reminiscent of scenes witnessed earlier this summer following the in-custody death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
People who still support the Black Lives Matter domestic terrorist movement are blind and foolish. pic.twitter.com/maygGF6Gsd
— Cassandra Fairbanks (@CassandraRules) August 24, 2020
— Garbage Human (@GarbyJooman2020) August 24, 2020
The church marquee quickly became the defining symbol of a night marked by some violence and looting.
Black Lives Matter "protesters" set fire to a car dealership that quickly spread to a nearby church.
The church marquee read "Black Lives Matter" before it was burned. https://t.co/GWIfVgjFhq
— MRCTV (@mrctv) August 24, 2020
The Car Source dealership owners were reportedly ruined by the flames engulfing their business.
This used car dealership was set on fire overnight by protestors. Car Source is just down the street from the Kenosha courthouse. The owners are devastated. Their business a total loss pic.twitter.com/koutrMy1Sq
— Constitutional Republic TEXT TRUMP 88022 (@CRRJA5) August 24, 2020
Other businesses supporting Black Lives Matter have not been spared by rioters hellbent on destruction.
“Just watching a lovely lady who runs an underwear shop in #Kenosha – her shop has been looted and smashed up. She’s struggled thru Covid & well, she’s devastated. She supports #BlackLivesMatter. If you’re American maybe give her an order if you can,” one tweeter wrote.
Just watching a lovely lady who runs an underwear shop in #Kenosha – her shop has been looted and smashed up. She's struggled thru Covid & well, she's devastated. She supports #BlackLivesMatter . If you're American maybe give her an order if you can https://t.co/bxDdju59aO
— Scott Christy Jones (@SChristyJones) August 24, 2020
Don't fall for the car dealership if they e-beg either. They had a sign. pic.twitter.com/QbU8JwPeFc
— NeoUnrealist (@NeoUnrealist) August 24, 2020
The rioters on the video believed it belong to the car lot. A person argued no, let's go burn white owned businesses they didn't care and burned it anyway.
— NeoUnrealist (@NeoUnrealist) August 24, 2020
Looters livestreamed the events in the dealership before the business was torched.
“If you got the title that shit yours!”
— Breaking911 (@Breaking911) August 24, 2020
Images from other cities in past riots tell a similar tale.
Maybe the sign wasn’t big enough. pic.twitter.com/3akptKtCsy
— LA Based Comedian (@LABasedComedian) August 22, 2020
According to Racine County Eye, Governor Tony Evers said:
“Tonight, Jacob Blake was shot in the back multiple times, in broad daylight, in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Kathy and I join his family, friends, and neighbors in hoping earnestly that he will not succumb to his injuries. 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.
We stand with all those who have and continue to demand justice, equity, and accountability for Black lives in our country—lives like those of George Floyd, of Breonna Taylor, Tony Robinson, Dontre Hamilton, Ernest Lacy, and Sylville Smith. And we stand against excessive use of force and immediate escalation when engaging with Black Wisconsinites.
I have said all along that although we must offer our empathy, equally important is our action. In the coming days, we will demand just that of elected officials in our state who have failed to recognize the racism in our state and our country for far too long.”