A Year After the Unrest, a Wounded Kenosha Still Awaits Reconstruction
“You barely see people here anymore,” said 40-year-old Darrell Jenkins as he walked through several burnt buildings in July. “It’s like a ghost town.”
City officials have promised a renewed focus on Uptown, planning development of apartments and businesses that will once again breathe life into it. The aftermath of Mr Blake’s shooting has become a test of the city’s commitment to change whether they will follow through – and how far it will go to fix the neighborhood that is home to so many African American families that they say they Still on the margins of civilian life in Kenosha.
“They’re never going to rebuild it,” said Lonnie Stewart, 61, a former ironworker who lives in the neighborhood. He nodded to the wall of the empty, boarded storefront. “Even after all this time, it still looks like this.”
‘It shook the foundation’
Kenosha is not Minneapolis, or Portland, Ore., or Chicago, the big city with a long and familiar history of protests, activism, and street marches.
So it came as a shock to much of the city, the mostly white former industrial and car-making hub whose voters were Democratic-leaning, when unrest broke out on a Sunday last August. Police officers arrive at an apartment in response to a domestic complaint and attempt to arrest Mr. Blake, who is black. When Mr. Blake, who was holding a knife, was trying to board an SUV, one of the officers, Rusten Shesky, who is white, grabbed him and fired seven times in his back, causing him to land. But fell. Americans still shaken by the murder of Mr Floyd in Minneapolis reacted in horror after watching a cellphone video of the episode, which was captured from across the street.
Protesters gathered hundreds of people in the city, and on the third day of the march, Kyle Rittenhouse, a 17-year-old from Illinois, fatally shot two people during a scuffle, according to officials; He is set to stand trial for murder in November.
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