Fire Chief Charles Leipzig told the Police and Fire Commission Tuesday that the record fire loss came in the days following the Aug. 23 shooting of Blake, a 29-year-old Black man who was left partially paralyzed after a white officer shot him seven times in the back.
“To put into context, that’s three years of fire loss for us in the span of about a week,” Leipzig told commissioners, the Kenosha News reported.
The shooting, which was recorded on video, sparked protests and violence in Kenosha, where roughly two dozen fires were set and numerous businesses were destroyed.
Prosecutors say 17-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse of Antioch, Illinois, shot three demonstrators, killing two of them, during a chaotic protest Aug. 25.
Activists gathered in Kenosha on Wednesday for a celebration dubbed a “Day of Healing” that included meals for seniors and the homeless and a voter registration drive.
Tana McLean, an activist and Blake family friend, told the newspaper that Blake continues to recover from seven gunshots to his back that have left him partially paralyzed.
“He’s healing,” she said. “It’s still a difficult time. We need an indictment, and they need justice. Until that happens, things aren’t clear about what’s going to happen next. But we’re going to keep driving out the message of love, peace, kindness and compassion."