PHOTOS: Kenosha, Wisconsin — Still Scarred by Black Lives Matter Riots, on Eve of Election

Kenosha Strong (Wong Maye-E / Associated Press)
Wong Maye-E / Associated Press

The city of Kenosha, Wisconsin, is still scarred by the riots that erupted in late August, after the police shooting of Jacob Blake Jr. triggered “Black Lives Matter” protests that turned violent.

President Donald Trump is scheduled to speak there Monday evening in the next-to-last rally of his 2020 election campaign.

Blake was shot Aug. 23 during an altercation with police responding to a 911 call from a woman whom he was alleged to have assaulted previously. He was shot several times from behind as he reached inside his car; a knife was later recovered from the floorboard. He is paralyzed rom the waist down.

On Aug. 24, Democratic Party presidential nominee Joe Biden hastened to condemn police and “systemic racism,” ignoring the violence and looting that took place the night before. There were worse riots that night, and the night that followed, until Biden’s political allies urged him to take an explicit stance against violence. He did so, belatedly, in a video on Twitter. But he declined to visit Kenosha, convinced Trump’s visit would “backfire” — until he changed his mind and visited days later.

Two months later, Kenosha still bears the scars of the violence that destroyed much of the city’s downtown business district. All of the photos below were taken in the last several days:

Kenosha Strong (Wong Maye-E / Associated Press)

A sign which reads “Kenosha Strong” is stuck amidst the debris, Monday, Nov. 2, 2020, in Kenosha, Wis. The trouble in Kenosha began on Aug. 23 when a Kenosha police officer, responding to a call about a domestic dispute, was caught on video shooting Jacob Blake repeatedly in the back at close range. Blake, a Black man, survived but is partially paralyzed. The August shootings have spurred a spike in political involvement in Kenosha, with the formation of activism and waves of new voters signing up. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)

Kenosha burned cars (Wong Maye-E / Associated Press)

A church building is framed by the remains of burnt vehicles in Kenosha, Wis., Friday, Oct. 30, 2020. The trouble in Kenosha began on Aug. 23 when a Kenosha police officer, responding to a call about a domestic dispute, was caught on video shooting Jacob Blake repeatedly in the back at close range. Blake, a Black man, survived but is partially paralyzed. The August shootings have spurred a spike in political involvement in Kenosha, with the formation of activism and waves of new voters signing up. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)

Kenosha building (Wong Maye-E / Associated Press)

People walk past a bank which has its windows boarded up with plywood in Kenosha, Wis., Saturday, Oct. 31, 2020. Two months after street violence shook the little lakeside city of Kenosha dozens of businesses are still boarded. Many of these businesses are open, but with divisive elections just days away some are also hedging their bets, covering up windows and sometimes building outer sets of plywood doors that can be easily shut, like castles pulling up their drawbridges, if trouble returns. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)

Kenosha free the people (Wong Maye-E / Associated Press)

People walk past burnt vehicles in Kenosha, Wis., Friday, Oct. 30, 2020. The trouble in Kenosha began on Aug. 23 when a Kenosha police officer, responding to a call about a domestic dispute, was caught on video shooting Jacob Blake repeatedly in the back at close range. Blake, a Black man, survived but is partially paralyzed. The August shootings have spurred a spike in political involvement in Kenosha, with the formation of activism and waves of new voters signing up. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)

A police officer walks in front of the Kenosha County circuit court, Monday, Nov. 2, 2020, in Kenosha, Wis.. Bail was set at $2 million on Monday for a 17-year-old from Illinois accused of killing two men and wounding a third during an August protest in Kenosha, after the father of one of the victims told the court the defendant "thinks he's above the law" and would be a flight risk if freed before trial. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)

A police officer walks in front of the Kenosha County circuit court, Monday, Nov. 2, 2020, in Kenosha, Wis.. Bail was set at $2 million on Monday for a 17-year-old from Illinois accused of killing two men and wounding a third during an August protest in Kenosha, after the father of one of the victims told the court the defendant “thinks he’s above the law” and would be a flight risk if freed before trial. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)

Kenosha BLM (Wong Maya-E / Associated Press)

The windows of a shop front are boarded up with plywood which has a mural that reads “Kenosha Strong and BLM!” painted on it, Friday, Oct. 30, 2020, in downtown Kenosha, Wis. Two months after street violence shook the little lakeside city of Kenosha dozens of businesses are still boarded. Many of these businesses are open, but with divisive elections just days away some are also hedging their bets, covering up windows and sometimes building outer sets of plywood doors that can be easily shut, like castles pulling up their drawbridges, if trouble returns. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)

Kenosha Strong sheet (Wong Maye-E / Associated Press)

A sign which reads “Kenosha Strong” hangs next to a shophouse that was burnt during protests in August over a police shooting, Monday, Nov. 2, 2020, in Kenosha, Wis. The trouble in Kenosha began on Aug. 23 when a Kenosha police officer, responding to a call about a domestic dispute, was caught on video shooting Jacob Blake repeatedly in the back at close range. Blake, a Black man, survived but is partially paralyzed. The August shootings have spurred a spike in political involvement in Kenosha, with the formation of activism and waves of new voters signing up. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)

Trump was the first Republican presidential candidate to win Wisconsin since 1988, and the state is closely contested in 2020.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). His newest e-book is The Trumpian Virtues: The Lessons and Legacy of Donald Trump’s Presidency. His recent book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.

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