Trump sending federal assistance to address Wisconsin protests


President Trump on Wednesday said he would send federal officers to Kenosha, Wis., as the city grapples with unrest after the police shooting of Jacob Blake.

White House officials and Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers (D) spoke by phone, according to Trump, and the governor accepted federal assistance with responding to the increasingly volatile demonstrations in response to Blake's shooting.

"We will NOT stand for looting, arson, violence, and lawlessness on American streets," Trump tweeted.

"TODAY, I will be sending federal law enforcement and the National Guard to Kenosha, WI to restore LAW and ORDER!" he added.

Evers's office did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The governor had already activated the National Guard and tweeted late Tuesday that he planned to increase its presence "to ensure individuals can exercise their right safely, protect state buildings and critical infrastructure, and support first responders and fire fighters."

Blake was shot seven times in the back by police on Sunday in an incident that was captured on video. Blake's family says he is currently paralyzed from the waist down.

Protests have persisted for three days in response to Blake's shooting, and they have grown violent at times. Two people were killed and a third was injured in a shooting late Tuesday during the protests.

Police on Wednesday arrested a juvenile in connection with the two deaths.

Blake's shooting is the latest instance this summer of police violence against a Black person. The killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Rayshard Brooks have all contributed to calls for policing reform and protests against racial injustice.

Trump has condemned the Floyd killing specifically and signed a mostly toothless executive order on police reform. But he has pivoted over the last few months to take a harder tone against demonstrations, painting them with a broad brush to accuse protesters of rioting and violence.

The president has made enforcing law and order a major theme of his reelection campaign, warning that there will be chaos in the streets under a Joe Biden presidency even as the unrest plays out on Trump's watch. Trump has also accused Biden of wanting to "defund the police," something the former vice president has said he does not support.

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