Protests and riots in Kenosha, Wisconsin, have caused $11 million in fire damage to the city, Fire Chief Charles Leipzig said, in the aftermath of unrest from the death of Jacob Blake, a Black man who was shot by a white police officer answering a domestic dispute call.

Key Facts

Leipzig told the Police and Fire Commission Tuesday that the record fire damage is the equivalent of “three years of fire loss for us in the span of about a week,” according to the Kenosha News.

According to the Wall Street Journal, total damages from the unrest are estimated at $50 million, with 56 buildings destroyed.

Kenosha Mayor John Antaramian is requesting $30 million from the state to help rebuild the city.

Kenosha has had peaceful protests as well as arson and violence in the wake of Jacob Blake’s death last month, including the shooting of three protesters, two of whom died.

17-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse, a white teenager who traveled to the city as a self-styled vigilante to “protect property,” has been arrested and charged with homicide in connection with the shootings. 

Crucial Quote

“We have a record fire loss and some injuries as a result of the current events. … You’re looking at $11 million in fire loss. To put into context, that’s three years of fire loss for us in the span of about a week. And we also sent some people to the hospital. It has not been a very pleasant month,” Leipzig said, according to the Kenosha News.

Key Background

 Demonstrations against police brutality have spread across the U.S. since the death of George Floyd earlier this year. In more than 93% of Black Lives Matter demonstrations, protesters did not engage in violence or destructive activity, according to a report issued earlier this month by The US Crisis Monitor.


Kenosha has suffered far less damage than Minneapolis, which was hit with an estimated $500 million in damages and more than 1,500 destroyed buildings after George Floyd’s death.

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