Local politicians from Kenosha, Wisc., pleaded with Governor Tony Evers to send additional National Guard service members to the city, following three consecutive nights of rioting over the death of Jacob Blake.
Rioters have burned local businesses to the ground and committed other acts of vandalism, while apparent clashes between rioters and citizens protecting businesses led to two shooting deaths. There are currently 250 national guardsmen deployed to Kenosha but a White House staffer claimed that Governor Evers resisted an offer from the federal government to send 500 additional troops.
The entire Kenosha County Board signed off on a letter to Evers requesting that 1,500 guardsmen be deployed to the city immediately.
“Our county is under attack. Our businesses are under attack. Our homes are under attack. Our local law enforcement agencies need additional support to help bring civility back to our community,” the letter states. “We are formally asking for 1,500 National Guard members with police powers to be sent to Kenosha County immediately….We encourage you to visit Kenosha County and see firsthand the destruction that has been inflicted on our community.”
U.S. Representative Bryan Steil (R., Wisc.), whose district includes Kenosha, also called on Governor Evers to expand the National Guard presence.
“Yesterday, Governor Evers sent 250 National Guards to Kenosha. This was woefully insufficient,” Steil said in a statement. “I call on the Governor to accept [President Trump’s] offer of assistance, supported by Kenosha officials, which includes National Guard from other states and federal law enforcement officers.”
Democratic state senator Bob Wirch also condemned the violence.
“I am devastated by the events that have taken place in Kenosha. I was born and raised here, and I love my community and our people. This is not who we are,” Wirch said. “I will always support the rights of people to peacefully protest, but this violence and destruction is indefensible and must stop. Our community is being torn apart, and we can’t begin to heal until the chaos ends.”