‘There’s Just No Words’: Cleanup In Kenosha, Wisconsin, Continues Following Monday Riot

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Brianna Lyman News and Commentary Writer
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A woman cleaning up in Kenosha, Wisconsin, following Monday’s riots after the shooting of an unarmed black man by police said the scene is a “complete war zone.”

“There’s just no words. There’s just absolutely no words,” says Kelly Towers, who lives in Kenosha and said she is helping clean up a friend’s business after rioters allegedly looted, stole and trashed the place.

“I watched everything happen last night. I had to call 911 three times. It took them over two hours to get down here. Not only did they destroy our business here, they looted it, they stole things, they trashed the inside of it.”

Towers says the situation is “horrible,” noting the police didn’t do much to help and apparently mistook Towers for a rioter.

“We had our hands up in the air … they hit us with smoke bombs and tear gas anyway.”

Towers said she understands the pain the community is feeling, but said she thinks destroying the community is not the answer.

“I think the police shooting was completely uncalled for. I understand the anger, I understand the frustration but there’s a limit how you act and this is not protesting. This is vandalism. This is terrorism.”

Riots and fires broke out Monday night after a video appeared to show Jacob Blake walking to his car with officers following. Blake appears to reach into his car, at which point two officers draw their weapons and shots are fired, hitting Blake in the back several times.

Blake is currently in stable condition, according to BBC. (RELATED: Jacob Blake Paralyzed From The Waist Down, His Father Says)

After the city’s mandatory 8 p.m. curfew Monday night, rioters began throwing objects at a line of officers, including rocks, bricks, water bottles and glass bottles. Street lights were torn down while other rioters set local businesses on fire, like a furniture store and car dealership.

Democratic Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers declared a state of emergency Tuesday, directing state agencies to assist with responding to the riots. He also called on the National Guard to support first responders and protect “critical infrastructure and cultural institutions,” according to Fox6.

Evers is calling for protesters to remain peaceful in an official statement released Tuesday.

“The ability to exercise First Amendment rights is a critically important part of our democracy and the pursuit of justice,” Evers’ statement reads. “But there remains a line between peaceful assembly and what we saw last night that put individuals, families, and businesses in danger.”

“If you are going to protest, please do so peacefully and safely. Please do not allow the actions of a few distract us from the work we must do together to demand justice, equity, and accountability,” Evers continued.