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Anger over the police shooting of a Black man spilled onto the streets of Kenosha, Wis., for a third night Tuesday as protesters tried breaking down a fence erected outside a county courthouse and others reportedly threw objects at authorities, according to media reports.
The National Guard repeatedly told people in the street to disperse. Most remained despite an 8 p.m. curfew imposed for the second night in a row. Tear gas was also used when an armored police vehicle drove through a crowd outside the courthouse and pepper balls were shot from the roof, Kenosha News reported.
Other protesters flipped off law enforcement and some burned an American flag in front of the courthouse fence, according to the newspaper. Some threw water bottles and fireworks at police behind the barrier.
When police ordered protesters to disperse, the crowd responded by chanting “Black lives matter.” Police then fired rubber bullets.
The unrest came days after Jacob Blake was shot and wounded by a Kenosha police officer. Cellphone video of Blake being shot multiple times in the back has elicited outrage and made the city the latest flashpoint in a summer filled with ongoing demonstrations against police brutality that have turned violent.
“They shot my son seven times, seven times, like he didn’t matter,” said Jacob Blake Sr., who spoke to reporters alongside other family members and lawyers Tuesday afternoon outside the courthouse. “But my son matters. He’s a human being and he matters.”
In anticipation of the kind of unrest that occurred Monday night, Kenosha County Sheriff David Beth said Tuesday his office was working with other agencies to minimize destructive behavior.
"People are frustrated, I get it. And they’re scared. I certainly get that, too," Beth said in a statement. "Rumors abound on social media and elsewhere, with widely varying levels of truth to them. We know that much of the damage is being inflicted by people coming in from outside our community, with the intent to rob and destroy, not to engage in their First Amendment right to demonstrate."
Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers announced Tuesday an increase in the National Guard presence from 150 guardsmen Monday to 250 on Tuesday.
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Also Tuesday, lawyers for Blake's family said the 29-year-old was paralyzed from his waist down as a result of the shooting. The city has not said much about the encounter and the officers involved have been placed on administrative leave.
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The family plans to file a civil lawsuit against the Kenosha Police Department, lawyers said.
Hundreds of protesters defied Monday's 8 p.m. curfew as they gathered downtown. Some clashed with police and other vandalized nearby businesses and residences.
Blake's mother, Julia Jackson, decried the violence during Tuesday's news conference.
"As I was riding through here, this city, I noticed a lot of damage and it doesn't reflect my son," Jackson said. "So I'm really asking, and encouraging everyone in Wisconsin and abroad to take a moment and examine your heart. As I pray for my son's healing … I also have been praying even before this for the healing of our country."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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