Kenosha community cleans up mess left by protests in small town

National and World

"There just are no words. I just can't believe this is happening in my town," one woman said of the damage left behind

KENOSHA, Wis. (CNN) – A Wisconsin community is cleaning up after protests following a police-involved shooting.

“I just came from Mississippi in preparedness for the hurricane,” said Beth Miller, a Kenosha native. “I thought that was bad until this. There just are no words. I just can’t believe this is happening in my town.”

Miller evacuated Mississippi just hours before Hurricane Laura hit Wednesday night into Thursday morning.

She said the destruction following riots in Kenosha earlier this week is difficult to take in.

“You think you understand about what’s happening in this town, but you have to see it to believe it.”

Despite Wednesday’s more peaceful night of protesting following the police shooting of Jacob Blake, there were broken windows, burned cars and demolished buildings in every direction Thursday.

“I just want everyone to heal,” said Myles Lamping, a volunteer. “I want to heal.”

Lamping was helping to clean up broken glass Thursday. He hopes for peace as calls for an end to racial disparities continue.

“I know the protests were super calm last night. Hopefully all this stuff here calms down now,” he said.

That hope was also a prayer led by Catholic leaders Thursday.

“We love Kenosha,” Father Carlos Florez said. “We feel that we are part of Kenosha and we suffer with Kenosha, with all the people in Kenosha.”

The priests toured several of the hardest-hit locations Thursday, praying for an end to violence.

“We pray with you because we believe that we can work through together, through this situation,” Florez said.

Meanwhile, neighbors throughout the city are working together to heal.

“That’s what a small town is really about, is our community coming together,” Ari Roberts said.

The mayor said the city is working to address systemic racism, but did not detail any plans.

Officials didn’t address whether or not the officers involved in Blake’s shooting will face any charges.

The ACLU has called for Kenosha Police Chief Daniel Miskinis and Kenosha County Sheriff David Beth to resign, but neither has responded to that call.

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