Kenosha’s chief of police shifts the blame for the deadly shooting on a night of protest to those who defied the state-of-emergency curfew.
“Everybody involved was out after the curfew,” Chief Daniel Miskinis said during a news conference.
“I’m not gonna make a great deal of it but the point is — the curfew’s in place to protect. Had persons not been out involved in violation of that, perhaps the situation that unfolded would not have happened.”
“The result of it is two people dead,” he added.
A viral video showed police officers thanking a group of heavily armed militia, while shouting at rioters and telling them that they had to leave.
Minutes later, a 26-year-old and a 36-year-old were shot dead and another was seriously injured.
17-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse from Antioch, Illinois, who is also a former member of a youth police cadet program, has been charged in a single shooting incident.
The chief emphasized that the police were not responsible for the fatal shooting of the two people.
“This is not a police action,” he said, “This is not the action, I believe, of those who set out to do protests. It is the persons who were involved after the legal time, involved in illegal activity that brought violence to this community.”
Miskinis promised to crack down on those who continue to defy the curfew, and reports confirm that officers, including plainsclothes, have started “yanking” rioters from the streets since Wednesday.
The riots first broke out Sunday night, hours after a now viral video emerged showing a police officer shooting Jacob Blake several times as he went to get in his SUV.
Blake has survived the shooting and is currently being treated in a local hospital, but is now paralyzed from the waist down and unclear if the paralysis is permanent.