Wisconsin Governor Calls in National Guard following Rioting Sparked by Police Shooting of Black Man

Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers waits to speak at the Democratic National Convention, Milwaukee, Wis., August 19, 2020. (Melina Mara/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 ordered 125 National Guard members to the city of Kenosha on Monday, following riots that erupted after police shot a black man while attempting to arrest him.

The guard members will be charged with “guarding infrastructure and making sure our firefighters and others involved are protected,” Evers told reporters.

Video of the incident showed police shooting Jacob Blake in the back while responding to the call, and drew immediate condemnation from Evers. Full details of the incident have not yet been released.

At a press conference on Monday, Kenosha mayor John Antaramian and various community representatives called for all demonstrations to be peaceful.

“When moments like this come, we have to come together to make it better,” Tim Mahone, a board member of the philanthropic Mahone Foundation based in Kenosha, said through tears. “Please don’t destroy our community.”

Demonstrators gathered at the site of the shooting soon after the incident, and rioters have set fires on the street where the shooting took place and have attacked police officers. A fire was also started near the Kenosha city courthouse.

“Things have been very heated, tons of damage to cop cars, an officer was actually knocked out,” an observer told the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.

The city of Minneapolis suffered millions of dollars in damages, including burned and looted buildings, from riots in the aftermath of the killing of George Floyd. Minnesota governor Tim Walz called the National Guard into Minneapolis on May 28, three days after Floyd’s death.

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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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