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People in Kenosha still grappling with Jacob Blake shooting nearly a week later

Posted at 9:58 AM, Aug 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-30 10:58:19-04

KENOSHA — The past few nights in Kenosha have remained relatively calm, but people living in Kenosha say their lives are not back to normal.

Clean up efforts were still underway Saturday evening in Kenosha's Uptown neighborhood.

Hikeem Reed isn't from Kenosha, but he's been helping clean up throughout the week. He built a cross out of rubble from a business destroyed by fire, and underneath it placed a wooden sign that read, "#KenoshaStrong."

"Because it's what matters," Reed said.

It's been nearly a week since Jacob Blake was shot by a Kenosha Police officer, and people say the shooting—and the unrest that followed—is still very much on their minds.

"I don’t agree with how they handled that situation but burning down our community is not the solution either. I don’t know what the solution is," said Steven Brown.

Meanwhile, Blake's neighborhood remained quiet Saturday night. Nakia London says it's been that way for most of the week, except for dozens of reporters knocking on doors. London says it's been a lot.

"It's always in your face, from social media to going to work every day, it’s always talked about, and you hear people say things you don’t want to hear," London said.

London has lived in Kenosha all her life and has been spending time at her grandmother's home, which is just down the block from where Blake was shot.

London says she's devastated for Blake, but she says she believes he's exposing what she says needs to change in her hometown.

"He took a stand for everybody here, and like I said, if this didn’t happen, nobody would have known about the things going on in this city," London said. "And it has to change, starting with the top."

Streets remained nearly empty in Kenosha's downtown, especially after the 7 p.m. curfew. Artists drew murals on boarded-up businesses. A small group of demonstrators remained in the park outside the courthouse.

Terry Nelson owns The Down Town'r Saloon, and he says people busted his door on Sunday night, trashing his restaurant. He says repairing it will be expensive, but the bigger loss has been from staying closed throughout the week.

"If we could safely bring our employees back to work I'd do it in a heartbeat," Nelson said.

He said he has about 125 employees across several restaurants in town that aren't working right now.

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