Kenosha, WI – Federal law enforcement agents and more Wisconsin National Guard members were deployed to Kenosha on Wednesday in response to pleas from local officials following three nights of violent riots.
Several members of the Kenosha County Board sent a letter to Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers on Aug. 25 pleading that additional members of the National Guard be sent to help law enforcement try to quell the riots following the shooting of 29-year-old Jacob Blake by police, WMAQ reported.
“Our county is under attack,” the board members said in the letter to Evers. “Our businesses are under attack. Our homes are under attack. Our local law enforcement agencies need additional support to help bring civility back to our community.”
The letter asked that 1,500 more National Guard “with police powers” be sent to Kenosha County “immediately,” WMAQ reported.
“Our county is in a state of emergency and we need additional law enforcement to help preserve and save Kenosha County,” it continued, urging the governor to come “see firsthand the destruction that has been inflicted on our community.”
The governor responded to the county’s pleas by authorizing an additional 250 soldiers to be activated and deployed to assist the 250 members of the Wisconsin National Guard already in Kenosha, WMTV reported.
He also said he would be working with other states to get additional guardsmen or state police assistance in the region.
The announcement from Evers came just moments after President Donald Trump tweeted that the Wisconsin governor had agreed to accept federal help to quell the riots, WMTV reported.
“We will NOT stand for looting, arson, violence, and lawlessness on American streets. My team just got off the phone with Governor Evers who agreed to accept federal assistance (Portland should do the same!)…” President Trump tweeted.
“…TODAY, I will be sending federal law enforcement and the National Guard to Kenosha, WI to restore LAW and ORDER!” the President added in a second tweet.
…TODAY, I will be sending federal law enforcement and the National Guard to Kenosha, WI to restore LAW and ORDER!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 26, 2020
Evers didn’t mention asking for federal assistance when he made his announcement about increasing the National Guard presence, but he also hasn’t disputed requesting the help.
On Tuesday, the Wisconsin governor got blasted by U.S. Senator Ron Johnson (R-Wisconsin) and U.S. Representative Bryan Steil (R-Wisconsin) after he turned down the offer of federal law enforcement assistance, WMTV reported.
Steil called the number of National Guard that Evers had deployed “woefully insufficient” and said “the violence needs to stop now.”
“Anarchy and chaos will not advance justice, and must be stopped,” Johnson agreed.
On Tuesday night, two people were killed and a third person was wounded as countless businesses were looted and burned all over Kenosha.
Steil and Johnson called it “a tragedy that two people had to lose their lives” before the governor would accept President Trump’s offer of assistance, WMTV reported.
The bloodshed came on the third night of violent riots in the city sparked by the shooting of Blake by the Kenosha police, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported.
Illinois police arrested a 17-year-old boy on Wednesday morning in connection with two fatal shootings during the riots in Kenosha on Tuesday night.