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US police arrest 250 people during Kenosha protests

Demonstrators hold signs in front of the Kenosha Courthouse on September 01, 2020 in Kenosha, Wisconsin. (AFP photo)

More than 250 people have been arrested in the US County of Kenosha, Wisconsin, during the recent unrest over racism and police brutality.

The figure was announced by Kenosha police on Thursday. The police said the arrests were made during the unrest that broke out following the police shooting of Jacob Blake, a 29-year-old black man, in front of his children during an arrest on August 23. Blake has been left paralyzed.

Several nights of unrest promoted Kenosha officials to impose a curfew. They ended it on Wednesday, hours after a lawsuit argued that the curfew was unconstitutional.  The lawsuit had been filed by four people arrested during anti-racism protests in the city.

The US has been the scene of fresh anti-racism protests in recent days following the police shooting of Blake.

Kyle Rittenhouse, a President Donald Trump supporter, shot three protesters, two fatally, with an assault rifle in Kenosha on the third night of protests against police violence. The 17-year-old vigilante has been charged with two counts of first degree murder and attempted murder.

Democrats and police reform advocates see Kenosha as a symbol of institutional racism leading to deadly encounters between officers and black suspects, according to AFP.

Democratic presidential nominee, Joe Biden, has repeatedly condemned disorder at demonstrations, and has defended peaceful protesters, arguing justice must be served in cases of "unwarranted police violence." He called for rioters and looters to be prosecuted.

The 77-year-old Democrat accused Trump of fomenting violence after a week of deadly unrest.

The protests over police brutality and racial inequality that have gripped American cities for months ignited after the killing of a black man, George Floyd, by a Minneapolis police officer in May.

Trump, who has been trailing Biden in opinion polls ahead of the Nov. 3 election, has been appealing to his base of white supporters with a "law and order" message.

Trump signed a memo on Wednesday that threatens to cut federal funding to "lawless" cities, including Seattle, Portland, New York and Washington.

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