Aug 26, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Trump says Wisconsin governor to allow federal assistance in Jacob Blake protests


Gov. Tony Evers. Photo: Melina Mara/Pool/Getty Images

President Trump tweeted on Wednesday that Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers (D) will allow "federal assistance" to help quell days of protests in Kenosha over the police shooting of a Black man, which have escalated and left two people dead and one injured.

The state of play: “I can confirm the governor spoke with Mark Meadows this morning," a spokesperson for Evers said in a statement Wednesday. "The federal government is planning to assist in facilitating conversations with other state partners and provide FBI support to our state response."

The big picture: Graphic footage appears to show that Jacob Blake was shot at least seven times as he reached into his car, where his three children were seated. Blake is now hospitalized and paralyzed from the waist down. Protestors have called for immediate justice over the incident. Evers declared a state of emergency on Tuesday night.

  • A standoff on Tuesday night between protestors and an armed group that claimed to be protecting property resulted in the fatal shootout.
  • 17-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse was charged with first-degree intentional homicide on Wednesday.
  • "We will NOT stand for looting, arson, violence, and lawlessness on American streets. My team just got off the phone with Governor Evers who agreed to accept federal assistance (Portland should do the same!)," Trump tweeted.

Between the lines: The presence of federal law enforcement at local protests around the country calling for the end to systemic racism has drawn controversy.

  • Evers on Monday activated the Wisconsin National Guard under "a limited mobilization" in order "to help protect critical infrastructure and assist in maintaining public safety and the ability of individuals to peacefully protest."
  • The ACLU said in response to Evers' order: "Militarized policing often only serves to exacerbate tensions, and opens the door to more police misconduct and violence. The response to protesters over police brutality cannot be even more brutality."
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