Truth be told, the half-joking moniker “Kenowhere” no longer applies to this city.
“You see this stuff on the news in Portland or Seattle or New York City or Chicago,” Kenosha resident John Cooper, the frontman for Grammy-nominated Christian rock band Skillet, recently told Fox and Friends. “You see it and you think it could never happen in your town of Kenosha, Wisconsin.
“My in-laws lived here their whole lives and never one night have locked their doors, ever. When I moved here, Time Magazine called Kenosha the second-best city in America to raise a family. This is a great place. People love each other. It’s not a hateful place. It’s not a racist place.”
Local residents were alarmed, almost confused, why so many people would turn to violence and destruction in their own city.
Rode’s Camera Shop, which served the uptown neighborhood and community for over 100 years, was one of several local businesses senselessly burned to a crisp.
Mangia, an iconic, former downtown Italian restaurant owned by renowned chef and Kenosha native Tony Mantuano, was inexplicably set ablaze and destroyed.
Dozens of used cars at downtown dealerships were reduced to ashes, offering an eery, still-smoldering backdrop for national news media.
City officials estimate roughly $2 million damage to lost equipment, street lights, traffic signals and sign damage alone.
Kenosha Police offered some clarity to the situation, releasing information on over 100 out-of-state residents arrested during the protests.
As the days of rioting continued, the Kenosha County Jail filled with activists from Minneapolis, Seattle, Portland and Chicago.