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Armed Rioters Surround Police Vehicle in Wisconsin

(Screengrab via Twitter, Drew Hernandez)

Rioters brandishing AR-style weapons surrounded an armored SWAT vehicle in Kenosha, Wis. as unrest broke out in the city Sunday night following the police shooting of Jacob Blake, a black man.

In footage posted by reporter Drew Hernandez, a group of protestors can be seen blocking the path of a sheriff’s department armored vehicle.

One of the armed men yells “get me a gas mask” and someone in the crowd says “they’re gonna deploy” before officers throw tear gas grenades to make way for the police vehicle.

City officials issued a curfew until 7 a.m. Monday and police requested that businesses consider staying closed “due to numerous arm robbers and shots fired calls,” as protests quickly turned violent overnight. 

Rioters set fires and smashed windows across the city. Hernandez described the situation as “like a scene out of hell,” posting additional footage of looting, a damaged library and a row of cars in flames. 

The violence erupted after a video began circulating online showing a man, later identified as Blake, walking to a van followed by two police officers with weapons drawn. As the man tries to get into the van, an officer appears to grab him by the shirt and fire several shots at close range into his back. 

The police department has issued a statement confirming the shooting, which occurred when police responded to a domestic violence call just after 5 p.m. Sunday. 

The sheriff’s department and Wisconsin State Patrol have taken over the scene. The state’s department of justice and its division of criminal investigation will investigate the shooting.

Editor’s Note: This article has been amended since its original publication.

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