‘Why Do We Deserve It?:’ Locals in Kenosha Attempt to Clean Wreckage after Night of Riots

A man walks by as riots turn into fires after a black man, identified as Jacob Blake, was shot by police, Kenosha, Wis., August 24, 2020. (Stephen Maturen/Reuters)

Local business owners and residents in Kenosha, Wisc., came downtown Tuesday to survey wreckage and repair some of the damage from the previous night’s riots, which were sparked by the shooting of a local black man by police officers.

Scott Carpenter and his mother, Linda, arrived at their furniture store to find it burned to the ground.

“It’s all gone,” Linda said through tears while surveying the gutted store.

“It’s not justifiable,” Scott told reporter Julio Rosas of Townhall. “We have insurance, yeah, but the insurance isn’t there so someone can destroy your things and say, ‘Oh, well there’s insurance.’”

Scott also told Daily Caller reporter Shelby Talcott, “This is a business that my parents started 40 years ago out of their garage…We didn’t do anything to anybody, why do we deserve it.”

Local residents and rescue workers were out in force cleaning up debris and graffiti from the riots. A construction crew erected fencing around the Kenosha city courthouse, echoing police efforts to guard the federal courthouse in Portland, Ore., from rioters who have laid siege to the building every night for weeks on end.

Wisconsin governor Tony Evers ordered 125 members of the National Guard to Kenosha ahead of Monday’s violence.

The day after the riots, some residents were divided in their response.

“What [the protesters] want is justice,” a resident who asked to remain anonymous told Kenosha News. “I agree with the people.”

Another resident, who identified himself as “Scott,” said protesters had walked down his block shouting “don’t worry, we’re not burning houses.”

“I know people, they’ve got weapons. They’re going to start trying to protect their stuff,” Scott said. “Isn’t what they always said, looters get shot?”

Meanwhile, in downtown Kenosha, others were passing out pizzas to people cleaning up wreckage.

‘Why Do We Deserve It?:’ Locals in Kenosha Attempt to Clean Wreckage after Night of Riots

Zachary Evans is a news writer for National Review Online. He is a veteran of the Israeli Defense Forces and a trained violist.