President Donald Trump has said that he is sending federal law enforcement to Kenosha, Wisconsin, in order to police the rioting that has broken out in the city following the shooting of Jacob Blake by Kenosha police on Sunday.
"We will NOT stand for looting, arson, violence, and lawlessness on American streets," Trump said on Twitter Wednesday afternoon. "I will be sending federal law enforcement and the National Guard to Kenosha, WI to restore LAW and ORDER!"
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!)…
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 26, 2020
Trump says that Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers, a Democrat, accepted the offer of federal assistance today—an offer he declined yesterday.
The governor had already authorized the deployment of 250 Wisconsin National Guard troops to Kenosha County following the rioting that broke out there on Sunday night. Today, he increased that number to 500.
The White House is authorizing the deployment of 2,000 National Guard troops from neighboring states in addition to 200 federal law enforcement personnel to assist state and local police, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports.
Violence escalated in Kenosha last night when two people at demonstrations were fatally shot, and a third wounded. A 17-year-old Illinois teen, reportedly one of the vigilantes that have posted up outside of businesses in the city with the stated aim of preventing property destruction, has been arrested and charged with first-degree intentional homicide.
It's not clear how many of the National Guard troops or federal agents will end up being deployed to Kenosha, or if any have arrived already. Reason's requests for comment to Evers and the Department of Homeland Security have not been returned.
The Journal Sentinel reports that the decision to deploy additional National Guard troops is at the discretion of Wisconsin National Guard Adjutant General Paul Knapp.
"President Trump's threat today to send federal law enforcement to Kenosha is misguided and will only make matters worse. We don't need more police, we need to end police violence," said Chris Ott, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Wisconsin, in a statement this afternoon.
Rent Free is a weekly newsletter from Christian Britschgi on urbanism and the fight for less regulation, more housing, more property rights, and more freedom in America's cities.