Wisconsin Gov. Declares State of Emergency after Kenosha Riots, Doubles National Guard Presence

A cloud of smoke rises near police officers during a riot outside the Kenosha County Courthouse, Kenosha, Wis., August 24, 2020. (Stephen Maturen/Reuters)

Editor’s Note: A previous version of this article stated that the police were responding to a domestic violence call regarding a dispute between two women, which Blake was trying to mediate. That is incorrect. The police were called on Blake, who had a warrant out for his arrest, because he had taken a women’s keys and refused to return them.

Wisconsin governor Tony Evers declared a state of emergency on Tuesday afternoon in response to riots in the city of Kenosha, which began after police shot an African American man while attempting to arrest him.

The number of National Guard troops in Kenosha will be doubled from 125 to 250 by Tuesday evening.

In an executive order, Evers called “to state active duty such additional elements of the Wisconsin National Guard as the Adjutant General deems necessary to support local law enforcement, protect critical infrastructure and cultural institutions, and provide support to first responders.”

The order stated that the guard would not be used to impede activities of peaceful protesters or members of the media.

Around 30 businesses in Kenosha, a city of 100,000, were destroyed in Monday night’s riots according to the Associated Press. Jacob Blake, the man shot by police, will likely be paralyzed from the waist down, his father said Tuesday.

Residents have come into downtown Kenosha to help clean debris from the streets and salvage what they could fromt he wreckage.

“We didn’t do anything to anybody,” commented the owner of a furniture store burned down in the riots. “Why do we deserve it?”

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Zachary Evans is a news writer for National Review Online. He is a veteran of the Israeli Defense Forces and a trained violist.


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