KENOSHA, Wis. - Businesses in Kenosha boarded up windows and doors, bracing for a charging decision on Jan. 5 in the officer-involved shooting of Jacob Blake.
In an exclusive interview with FOX6 News, Kenosha Mayor John Antaramian called for the boards to come down as the city works to move forward.
Outside Canna Vita in Kenosha, boards were removed Thursday -- a new view for Tiffany Glynn inside.
"It’s great. It’s nice to have the light in again," Glynn said. "I've gotten kind of accustomed to how they are up now."
Boards removed from a business in Kenosha
After violence and destruction followed the August 2020 police shooting, plywood went up across parts of Kenosha as businesses awaited the charging decision. The Wisconsin National Guard was mobilized and an emergency was declared in advance, too.
Antaramian has issued a new push for businesses and the Kenosha community.
"We just put out, or we’re putting out, some information that we’re recommending the boards all come down," Antaramian told FOX6 News on Wednesday. "I think it’s an image that is not an appropriate image for this community."
Kenosha Mayor John Antaramian
The mayor said the city is past the point where boards are needed -- even with the Kyle Rittenhouse case set to play out in the county, possibly making some businesses hesitant to make the change.
"If you are going to live in fear all the time, then you will always have fear, said Antaramian. "There is a point and time when you have to say we’re moving forward, and I believe this community is at that point.
"It’s time for the boards to come down."
Boarded business in Kenosha
Back in downtown Kenosha, the work continues as many focus on moving forward.
"Whatever they feel comfortable with. If that’s something they feel comfortable with then they should do that," said Glynn.
FOX6 News reached out to Downtown Kenosha Inc., which works with a lot of businesses for a response to the mayor's recommendation, but did not hear back.