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A caravan of Kenosha protesters, several with obscured license plates, blocked a highway during rush hour Monday evening, preceding Black Lives Matter activists who disrupted the peaceful night outside the county courthouse.
The protest was reportedly in solidarity with those demonstrators in Lancaster, Penn., who had taken to the streets against the police shooting of a man who was charging at them with a knife.
The armed man had tried to assault his mother and had previously been arrested for stabbing random strangers.
Traffic stops in Kenosha led to a woman's arrest and the subsequent arrival of a dozen protesters who took to Highway 158.
Authorities arrested the woman following the 5:30 p.m. traffic stop just east of Interstate 94, Kenosha News reported. Wisconsin State Patrol Sgt. Richard Krisher noted that protesters followed while the traffic stops were being conducted. The scene was cleared within 45 minutes.
The female driver was taken into custody for carrying a concealed weapon—a 9mm pistol—possession of marijuana, and resisting arrest. Additional charges were recommended including for open containers of intoxicants in the woman's vehicle, driving without a license, no registration and no insurance. She was later released on bond.
Law enforcement had stopped the car because the license plate was taped over. A second vehicle, with its license plate similarly taped over, was also stopped. The driver of that vehicle was issued a citation for an obscured plate and released at the scene.
According to authorities, the two vehicles were among many with the same type of taped over plates and similar to those seen during the rioting and looting that took place in Kenosha several weeks ago.
State Patrol responded to a report issued by the Racine County Sheriff’s Department: "40 to 50" vehicles traveling south on I-94 at a "very high rate of speed."
"One of our troopers observed from six to nine of these vehicles where all had taped over license plates," Krisher stated.
Later in the evening, approximately 40 to 50 protesters occupied the steps of the Kenosha County Courthouse for over an hour before dispersing before 10 p.m. Their demonstrations, while loud, were neither destructive nor violent, police reported. A few dozen people spilled into the street while police dressed in riot gear lined the platform facing the building.
It was not immediately known whether their protests were linked to the woman's arrest. However, many protesters wore masks in support of Black Lives Matter, including members of the Kenosha grassroots Black Lives Activists of Kenosha, who organized in the wake of the Aug. 23 shooting of Jacob Blake by Kenosha Police Officer Rusten Sheskey.
Several speculated that their actions are now in solidarity with Lancaster, Pennsylvania, where an officer-involved shooting took the life of 27-year-old Ricardo Munoz, who allegedly brandished a knife over his head and lunged at the responding officer, on Sunday amid a domestic disturbance.
Authorities from different jurisdictions, including Walworth and Racine counties, appeared on scene at 912 56th Street while Kenosha Police and Kenosha County Sheriff's departments barricaded streets surrounding the civic center area.
Racine County Sheriff Christopher Schmaling said his office was assisting Kenosha law enforcement and "will continue to stand at the ready with them."
A spokeswoman for the governor's office cited no National Guard intervention had been requested as state and local authorities collaborated to mitigate the crowd.