KENOSHA, Wis. (CBS) – The residents of Kenosha woke up to a second day of destruction on Tuesday after the murder of Jacob Blake by police.
This time around, the destruction focused on commercial activity in and around this city’s Uptown neighborhood. As CBS 2 investigator Megan Hickey reported, some locals called it a “war zone.”
One of the businesses destroyed by the fire was a family-run mattress store.
As late as Tuesday evening, there was a small explosion in the burnt down building and Hickey and his crew had to return for their safety.
The fire spread to several nearby businesses and even damaged the building across the street.
Parts of the rubble were still smoking over 12 hours later as the community tried to rebuild.
A furniture store between 60th Street and 11th Avenue also burned down, with nothing left to recover. The flames continued to burn throughout the afternoon.
Across the street, all the cars parked in front of Budget Motors were destroyed.
“All of our desks – our computer screens just blew,” said Joe of Budget Motors.
Joe said at least two bullets hit his desk as well.
“This is where I normally sit, so yeah,” he said.
Countless more bullets pierced the windows of Budget Motors.
Between 23rd Avenue and 63rd Street, Marcus Starks works on the block.
“They are burning our city, and why?” Starks said.
And he’s hurt.
“These are businesses that cater to the majority of the black community in Kenosha, Wisconsin, and look at that,” Starks said. “They destroyed Kenosha’s livelihood.”
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“If it’s eye for eye, we’ll all be blind,” he said. “It is not like that!”
Kenosha resident Gail Swanson accuses Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers of failing to protect businesses.
“We will have more buildings burned down, more cities destroyed, more tax dollars wasted,” Swanson said.
Volunteer Vanessa Elvetici was swept away Tuesday afternoon.
“This is our home,” he says. “These are our families.”
He said he focuses his energy and pain on bringing his community together.
“I pray for all the children who must have seen this, especially the children who must have seen their father get shot right in front of their eyes,” Elvetici said. There is no excuse for all of this. We cannot continue to fight. We must unite. ”
Several business owners said they had not even filed a complaint with the police. They are too busy and the police are too busy.
Many boarded again Tuesday evening and took valuables with them when they left.
Many people also complained that they had not seen the National Guard in the area on Monday evening.
Governor Evers announced on Tuesday that he is authorizing the increase in Wisconsin National Guard support to Kenosha County to 250 members and that he will continue to adapt to meet local needs.
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