A rioter in Kenosha, Wisconsin, brandished a gun and pointed it directly in the face of Blaze Media reporter Elijah Schaffer Monday night — while he was filming.
The harrowing moment encapsulates the intense lawlessness of the current scene in Kenosha, where rioters have taken to the streets and set the city ablaze in response to the police shooting of Jacob Blake, a 29-year-old black man, over the weekend.
"HOLY SH*#: while interviewing this #BLM rioter in Kinosha [sic] he pulls out a real pistol and points it at my camera while explaining what we would do to cops if they rolled up on us right now," Schaffer wrote on Twitter.
"It's been a while since I had a gun pointed at me even if it was just to make a point," he added.
HOLY SH*#: while interviewing this #BLM rioter in Kinosha he pulls out a real pistol and points it at my camera whi… https://t.co/ivJR35V7Us— ELIJAH SCHAFFER (@ELIJAH SCHAFFER)1598326558.0
Rioters undoubtedly view the incident as yet another example of police in America using excessive force on a black person. However, there are
conflicting reports, and an investigation into the matter is needed.
Blake suffered from seven gunshot wounds, but he is being treated at a Milwaukee hospital and is expected to survive.
Nonetheless, starting on Sunday night, following video of the shooting being widely disseminated, the town erupted in violent protest.
Schaffer has posted several more videos on his Twitter account of the rampant violence taking place, which includes the burning of dozens of personal vehicles, a work truck, and a youth correctional facility.
KENOSHA: #BLM rioters burned down the youth correctional facility with the help of black bloc Antifa This is one o… https://t.co/AHhT6v40Ga— ELIJAH SCHAFFER (@ELIJAH SCHAFFER)1598359958.0
Even a small business building totally unrelated to the shooting was caught in the crossfire of the angry mob.
This is B&L Office Furniture in Kenosha, Wisconsin before & after the #BLM riots on Monday night This is a smal… https://t.co/DHad1qzNfC— ELIJAH SCHAFFER (@ELIJAH SCHAFFER)1598347062.0
Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers (D) deployed the National Guard to help local law enforcement quell the riots Monday night.
Shortly after video of the shooting went viral, without any investigation having been conducted, Evers spoke out in condemnation of the police officers involved and in support of protesters.
"While we do not have all of the details yet, what we know for certain is that he is not the first Black man or person to have been shot or injured or mercilessly killed at the hands of individuals in law enforcement in our state or our country," Evers tweeted.
What I’m seeing tonight is next level in Kinosha, these people are unhinged https://t.co/nNAG97oLkA— ELIJAH SCHAFFER (@ELIJAH SCHAFFER)1598324088.0
KENOSHA: The city is burning tonight as dozens of cars have been engulfed in flames after being targeted by #BLM ar… https://t.co/fjPGdZMZVZ— ELIJAH SCHAFFER (@ELIJAH SCHAFFER)1598340176.0
BREAKING: arson caught on camera as #BLM rioter lights a city dump truck on fire using a Molotov cocktail He had… https://t.co/yFVLf66nbZ— ELIJAH SCHAFFER (@ELIJAH SCHAFFER)1598324020.0
The three officers involved in the Blake shooting have been placed on administrative leave.
According to NBC News, the Milwaukee Police Association said Monday that while video of the shooting "may show some troubling things, protesting must remain calm. It must remain peaceful."
The association added that officials should not rush to judgment: "By rushing to judgment, without knowing all of the facts, this will only fuel the cause of others to protest in a manner that isn't peaceful."