On the day of the shooting, the Atlantic Council researchers found, a Facebook page was created, calling for people to “gear up” and protect Kenosha. One person posted on the page, which has since been deleted, “shoot to kill.”
Another now-deleted Facebook page, claiming to represent a local militia group, asked people to “take up arms” and defend Kenosha from “evil thugs” who were “planning on the next part of the City to burn.” That invitation was promoted by Infowars, leading to it being repeated on hundreds of other Facebook pages.
On a Reddit discussion thread, one poster wrote that 75 people were en route from Green Bay, adding: “We have lots of guns. Lots of pipe bombs.” Another Redditer demanded that “all non-whites and degenerates leave Kenosha.”
Kenosha officials voiced relief that things were calmer and blamed outsiders for violence.
Kenosha County officials sought to distance themselves and their community from the recent unrest on Thursday, praising residents for following a curfew overnight and blaming violence on outsiders who they said were intent on causing trouble.
“My message to the world, which we know is watching, is that Kenosha County is made up of good, caring people,” Jim Kreuser, the county executive, said during a news conference on Thursday afternoon. “I am confident that what we saw Sunday, Monday and Tuesday night isn’t who we really are.”
The leadership of the city and county, which is largely white and male, took no questions during the brief news conference, and did not address specifics about the police shooting of Mr. Blake or the fatal shooting during unrest that killed two people and resulted in the arrest of a white 17-year-old who lives just over the state line in Illinois.
The crowd that gathered on Wednesday night was smaller and more peaceful than those of the previous nights, after officials released some basic information about the shooting of Mr. Blake. He was paralyzed after a police officer shot him seven times in the back on Sunday; the officer, Rusten Sheskey, and two other officers on the scene have been placed on administrative leave.