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National Guard’s presence expanded in Wisconsin amid unrest

National Guard’s presence expanded in Wisconsin amid unrest

Wisconsin governor has declared a state of emergency on Tuesday in response to riots that began after police shot a Black man while responding to a domestic violence call.
26.08.2020 - 09:34

The presence of the US National Guard will be increased in Kenosha, Wisconsin after a police shooting left a Black man in serious condition and sparked mass unrest, the governor said Tuesday.


"We cannot allow the cycle of systemic racism and injustice to continue. We also cannot continue going down this path of damage and destruction," Tony Evers said on Twitter. "We are assessing the damage to state property and will be increasing the presence of the Wisconsin National Guard to ensure individuals can exercise their right safely, protect state buildings and critical infrastructure, and support first responders and fire fighters."

Noting scenes from Monday night "put individuals, families, and businesses in danger," Evers stressed: "We cannot forget the reason why these protests began, and what we have seen play out over the last two nights and many nights this year is the pain, anguish, and exhaustion of being Black in our state and country."

The Democratic governor called on demonstrators to protest "peacefully and safely," urging that they "do not allow the actions of a few distract us from the work we must do together to demand justice, equity, and accountability."

Evers declared a state of emergency in a separate statement, saying that 250 members of the National Guard will be on the ground to meet local needs.

The move comes after a Jacob Blake was shot in the back eight times in a shooting that has triggered widespread outrage and made Kenosha the latest flashpoint of the US' continued struggle with racial injustice and police shootings of unarmed Black men.

Blake's father, also named Jacob Blake, told the Chicago Sun-Times there are "eight holes" in his son’s body and doctors do not know if the paralysis waist down is permanent. "What justified all those shots?" he added. "What justified doing that in front of my grandsons? What are we doing?"