Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers has announced that scores of National Guard troops will be deployed to the city of Kenosha by Monday evening as violent riots continue over the police shooting of 29-year-old Jacob Blake seven times.
“This is a limited mobilization of the National Guard focused on supporting the needs of local first responders to protect critical infrastructure, such as utilities and fire stations, and to ensure Kenoshians are able to assemble safely,” Evers said.
Following the shooting of Blake, which was caught on a cellphone camera and said to be over a “domestic incident,” protesters took to the streets and clashed with police. Multiple vehicles were set on fire, and businesses were vandalized and looted. Citizens are now under a curfew following the rioting which goes into effect at 8pm on Monday.
Blake is in stable condition at the Froedtert Hospital in Milwaukee, according to relatives, and the shooting is being investigated.
Pete Deates, president of the Kenosha police union, said in a statement that the widely-circulated video of the shooting “does not capture all the intricacies of a highly dynamic incident.”
Evers meanwhile condemned the shooting, saying, “while we do not have all of the details yet, what we know for certain is that he is not the first black man or person to have been shot or injured or mercilessly killed at the hands of individuals in law enforcement in our state or our country.”
Deates slammed the governor’s words as “wholly irresponsible.”
Evers has also called for a special legislative session to take up multiple police reform packages he proposed earlier in the year.
The reforms would “address the issue of inappropriate use of force by individuals” and “strengthen accountability measures” for law enforcement.
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