JASON LOPEZ, 42 KENOSHA, WISCONSIN
Every day people would show up at the police station or the courthouse. And we would organize nonviolent marches. We would usually start the march by the courthouse at the Civic Center Park and then we’d end our march there. Whenever we would get back to the park, the police would either tear-gas us or shoot us with rubber bullets. And pretty much every night was the same thing: it would be peaceful marches and when the march would return, people would end up getting tear-gassed—which would incite everybody to turn violent. Now, I’m not saying that the peaceful marchers were the ones doing that. Because there would be people that weren’t marching that would just be in the park the whole time while we were gone. So it could have something to do with what they were doing before the peaceful march would make it back to the park. So then when they would see these marches of hundreds or thousands of people show back up at the park, they would just gas us. I feel like they were acting out of fear. And once they would start using the gas and the rubber bullets, that’s when the riots and the arson and the looting, that’s when that would start.
KOERRI WASHINGTON, 32
A lot of people were upset. A lot of people were disheartened. It depends on the type of people that you’re talking to, if they’re just like normal locals that, say, have no affiliation, and are really more concerned about the town itself. Their reaction is… they’re distraught because of the local businesses. It’s a very tight-knit community, although we’re fairly large, but it still seems like a small town. A lot of people are close with their neighbors and things like that and shop at local businesses, and would rather go to the local shops than the big-box stores. And the reason why I feel like outsiders are the ones that committed most if not all of the damage is because the businesses that were burned down, at least majority of them, all serve the Black and brown community. So it really did a number on the community. But then also depending on who you talk to, a lot of people are like, it’s wrong. I wish the