Tuesday, September 22, 2020
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Teen charged over Wisconsin protest deaths

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The shootings took place on the third day of unrest in Kenosha, Wisconsin

A teenager has been charged with killing two people and injuring another during protests against the police shooting of a black man in Wisconsin.

Kyle Rittenhouse allegedly shot three people on Tuesday, after demonstrations sparked by the shooting of 29-year-old Jacob Blake.

The 17-year-old had told journalists it was “his job” to guard buildings in Kenosha against protesters.

He has now been charged with six criminal counts over the shootings.

His social media profiles indicate he is a supporter of Donald Trump, and passionate about the police and guns.

The shooting came on the third night of protests after a police officer fired seven shots into Jacob Blake’s back on Sunday night. His lawyers fear it will take a “miracle” for him to walk again.

Police found a knife in Mr Blake’s car but no other weapons. Investigations are continuing into the shooting.

What happened on Tuesday?

Videos on social media appeared to show a man with a rifle being chased by a crowd before he fell to the ground and appeared to fire at them.

Joseph Rosenbaum, 36 and Anthony Huber, 26, both died in the incident. Gaige Grosskreutz, also 26, was injured.

Kyle Rittenhouse was arrested at his mother’s house in Antioch, Illinois on Wednesday. On Thursday, he was officially charged with two counts of homicide and one attempted homicide, as well as “recklessly endangering safety” and possession of a dangerous weapon.

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Media captionTwo people were killed and one injured on the third night of unrest

Kenosha – a city of about 100,000 people on the western edge of Lake Michigan – has seen days of unrest since the shooting of Jacob Blake.

It came just months after African American George Floyd was killed by police officers in Minnesota. His death sparked global protests about police violence in the US.

Jacob Blake’s shooting has sparked fresh demonstrations, in Kenosha and in other cities across the US. A number of US sports have cancelled matches in protest against the incident.

Demonstrations were more muted on Wednesday night after Wisconsin’s attorney general named the officer who fired on Mr Blake as Rusten Sheskey, a seven-year veteran of Kenosha’s police department.

“Last night was very peaceful,” Kenosha County Sheriff David Beth told reporters on Thursday. “Hopefully, we are over the hump of what we have to face.”

There has been widespread anger about how law enforcement officials – both local and federal, ordered to the city by US President Donald Trump – responded to the demonstrations.

On Thursday the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) called for the immediate resignation of Kenosha’s police chief and county sheriff, accusing them of defending “white supremacy” and “demonizing people who were murdered for exercising their First Amendment rights and speaking out against police violence”.

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Media captionThe BBC’s Aleem Maqbool says security forces are being criticised for losing control

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