“I’m here to support Kyle. Self -defense is not a crime,” said Tim Conrad, 34, who drove 90 minutes from Joliet, Ill, to be in Kenosha.
His friend, Emily Cahill, 32, from Plainfield, Ill., carried a poster that read “IGY6 Kyle” meaning “I got your back, Kyle,” she said.
John Antaramian, the mayor of Kenosha, and Daniel Miskinis, the city’s police chief, wrote an op-ed in the Kenosha News in December vowing that they would not allow destruction of businesses to be repeated after Mr. Graveley’s announcement.
“Whether you agree or disagree, we ask that you express your opinions peacefully and lawfully,” they wrote. “We will not — we cannot — tolerate the kind of violence we saw on our streets earlier this year and we will take definitive steps to protect our residents and businesses.”
The state Department of Justice and its Division of Criminal Investigation led the investigation into the shooting of Mr. Blake. On Sept. 21, Attorney General Josh Kaul of Wisconsin announced that the state would be bringing in an outside consultant, Noble Wray, a former police chief, to conduct a independent review of the case.
Mr. Blake was partially paralyzed after the shooting, which severed his spinal cord; his family said he is unlikely to ever walk again.
At the time of the shooting, Mr. Blake was facing charges stemming from a July incident. On Nov. 6, prosecutors in Kenosha County Circuit Court dropped one count of third-degree sexual assault and agreed to drop one count of criminal trespass if Mr. Blake pleaded guilty to two counts of disorderly conduct, according to court records and Mr. Blake’s lawyer, Patrick Cafferty.