Scott Carpenter, one of the owners of his family business B&L Office Furniture in Kenosha, Wis., found the company’s store gutted from a fire after another violent night in the city stemming from a police officer-involved shooting that seriously injured a black man.
Carpenter told reporters that he was expecting the worst after the nights of unrest that included a dozen buildings reportedly being set on fire and violent clashes between anarchists and police.
“I didn’t know what a disaster looked like until I saw it,” he said.
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He told reporters that his family started the business 40 years ago out of their garage. The family started the business to make a few extra dollars but the business grew and they were eventually able to buy the building that was targeted.
“It’s emotionally hurtful,” he said. “We didn’t do anything to anybody. Why did we deserve it?”
Protesters emerged Monday night in Kenosha and ignored the city’s 8 p.m. curfew. The Associated Press reported that they eventually set fires to buildings, cars and dumpsters and clashed with police in riot gear. Looting was also reported.
“It’s a battle we aren’t able to keep up with,” the Kenosha County sheriff told the New York Times.
Julie Bosman, a reporter for the paper who was at the scene, said it was a horrible scene in the city on Monday night, and the responses she received on Twitter shows that many in the country approve of the destruction.
One commenter wrote, “Almost as horrible as the police shooting of an innocent man.” The comment was liked over 600 times.
Jacob Blake, 29, was shot multiple times in the back by police officers after appearing to disregard their commands and attempt to enter a parked SUV, reports said. Protesters say the shooting is just the latest example of police brutality. Others want more information about what transpired prior to the shooting.
Pat Oertle, the owner of Computer Adventure, told the AP that computers were stolen from his store, which was destroyed.
“This accomplishes nothing. This is not the justice that they’re looking for,” he said.
Republican state Sen. Howard Marklein accused Gov. Tony Evers and Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes contributed to the violence in the city.
“They did not call for peace. They did not encourage calm,” he said, according to the AP. “They did encourage people to jump to conclusions and take negative action.”