Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers mobilizes National Guard to Kenosha ahead of Jacob Blake decision

6 months ago 29
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Jan. 4 (UPI) -- Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers on Wednesday authorized the National Guard to assist law enforcement in the city of Kenosha ahead of an expected decision in the police shooting of Jacob Blake.

Evers mobilized 500 National Guard members to the city at the request of local authorities to provide support to law enforcement and first responders including the Kenosha Fire Department as well as protect critical infrastructure and cultural institutions.

Members of the National Guard may not be used to block people from protesting peacefully or media from covering the situation, according to a statement.

"We are continuing to work with our local partners in the Kenosha area to ensure they have the state support they need, just as we have in the past," Evers said. "Our members of the National Guard will be on hand to support local first responders, ensure Kenoshans are able to assemble safely and to protect critical infrastructure as necessary."

Blake, a 29-year-old Black man, was shot in the back seven times by Kenosha Police officer Rusten Sheskey who was responding to a domestic incident on Aug. 23, leaving him paralyzed from the waist down.

Kenosha County District Attorney Michael Gravely will deliver his charging decision within the first two weeks of January, according to a Kenosha Common Council agenda document for a meeting Monday.

The decision came as the Kenosha City Council prepared to vote on a resolution by Mayor John Antaramian to create an emergency declaration for the city "regarding potential civil unrest."

Kyle Rittenhouse, a 17-year-old from Illinois, was charged with fatally shooting two people in a protest in Kenosha following the shooting.

Rittenhouse is set to be arraigned on Tuesday.

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