Wisconsin governor Tony Evers declined the federal government’s offer on Tuesday to send additional National Guard members to Kenosha, the lakefront city that has faced widespread rioting and unrest after police shot Jacob Blake, a White House staffer said Wednesday.
“Local law enforcement in Wisconsin have told the White House they need at least 750 National Guard tonight,” senior communications advisor Ben Williamson tweeted Tuesday night. “Governor Evers is only sending 250. Today, Mark Meadows called the Governor and offered 500 additional guard to meet the police needs. Governor Evers declined.”
Earlier on Tuesday evening, President Trump tweeted, “Governor should call in the National Guard in Wisconsin. It is ready, willing, and more than able. End problem FAST!”
Local law enforcement in Wisconsin have told the White House they need at least 750 National Guard tonight. Governor Evers is only sending 250. Today, Mark Meadows called the Governor and offered 500 additional guard to meet the police needs.
Governor Evers declined. https://t.co/ceqpDj3W2n
— Ben Williamson (@_WilliamsonBen) August 26, 2020
Later that same evening demonstrations turned deadly when armed citizens intent on protecting local businesses confronted an angry crowd outside a car dealership and three people were shot, two fatally. One person was shot in the head and another in the chest, Kenosha County Sheriff David Beth told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
Protests and rioting erupted in the city after cell phone video appeared to show a Kenosha police officer shooting Blake in the back seven times at close range as Blake attempted to enter his van, where his three children were waiting. The police had been responding to a call that Blake, who had a warrant out for his arrest, had taken a woman’s keys and refused to return them.
The man who says he filmed the incident, Raysean White, said he heard officers yell “Drop the knife! Drop the knife!” before opening fire, though he said he didn’t see a knife in Blake’s hands.
Since unrest began on Sunday evening, protestors have vandalized businesses and set dozens of buildings on fire. The chaos led the Democratic governor to declare a state of emergency on Tuesday.