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Kenosha shooting

 

The only option tonight for Police and National Guard was to use deadly force — or just let the rioters have their way until they exhausted themselves.

They chose the latter.  The Kenosha Police Department has only 185 officers.  The Sheriff’s Office is significantly larger, but even if it is twice as large, that is still only in the neighborhood of 600 or so officers.

The National Guard deployment was only of 125 members, and the task they were publicly given by Gov. Evers was to provide security for fire and emergency personnel.  The public announcement did not seem to include any support for law enforcement agencies dealing with the riots.

From the videos released onto Twitter, it appears there were several thousand protesters.  Some identified themselves as having come from Milwaukee.  If the local law enforcement agencies are not supported by other nearby agencies they will have no chance to bring the rioting under control.  The rioters will decide when they want to stop.  By the looks of things tonight, that might not happen until they simply run out of things to destroy and burn.

I fear it might not be a choice the police and politicians get to make tomorrow.  There is an existential question being put before the people that call Kenosha home.  Do they make a stand against the rioters and fight for their home.  Or do they watch it be burned down around them, and then leave when there is nothing left.  It is hard for me to imagine a community willing to stand by and watch their lives be gutted by fire when the police won’t or can’t respond.  This is the territory that the law refers to as “self-help.”

The destruction in Kenosha tonight was wanton and widespread.  There was no message or purpose to it.

This is a building belonging to the Wisconsin Department of Corrections, a state agency.  I don’t know if there are other such properties in Kenosha that might justify State law enforcement agency involvement.

This person pulled out a handgun and pointed it at a reporter who was asking him questions.  Wisconsin is an “open carry” state.  Permits are only needed to carry a weapon concealed.  I suspect this wasn’t the only firearm among the rioters tonight.

BLM Burns Down Kenosha -- A City of 100,000 -- With Police and National Guard Deployed

 

Tomorrow will likely be a day of decision-making for the local and state officials.  Kenosha is not Portland, Seattle or Minneapolis.  It won’t take too many more nights like Monday night to decimate the entire commercial sector of the town.

What then?