WASHINGTON — U.S. President Donald Trump said on Wednesday that he’s sending federal officers to Kenosha, Wisconsin to address the unrest there after the police shooting of Jacob Blake.
In a pair of tweets, Trump said his team has spoken with Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers “who agreed to accept federal assistance.”
“We will NOT stand for looting, arson, violence, and lawlessness on American streets,” the president wrote. “TODAY, I will be sending federal law enforcement and the National Guard to Kenosha, WI to restore LAW and ORDER!”
Evers already activated the National Guard and tweeted late Tuesday that he planned to increase its presence “to ensure individuals can exercise their right safely, protect state buildings and critical infrastructure, and support first responders and fire fighters.”
Blake, a 29-year-old African American, was shot seven times in the back by police in Kenosha on Sunday in an incident that was captured on video. Blake’s family said he is currently paralyzed from the waist down.
Demonstrations in the city have continued for three days in response to the shooting, which have turned violent and chaotic.
Two people were killed and a third was injured in a shooting late Tuesday during the demonstrations. Police on Wednesday arrested a juvenile in connection with the two deaths.
The shooting of Blake came some three months after the death of George Floyd, a 46-year-old African American man, who died after a white police officer kneeled on his neck for nearly nine minutes during an arrest in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Floyd’s death sparked nationwide protests and has led to a national reckoning over police brutality, racism, and slavery. But efforts to move forward reforms on policing stalled on Capitol Hill, as Democrats and Republicans were divided over priorities.
As demonstrations against racial injustice are still raging on in some U.S. cities, Trump has made the enforcement of “law and order” a major theme of his reelection campaign and has repeatedly lashed out at cities run by Democrats.
Former U.S. Vice President and 2020 Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden weighed in on Blake’s shooting and the aftermath on Wednesday.
“Once again, a Black man – Jacob Blake – was shot by the police. In front of his children. It makes me sick. Is this the country we want to be?” Biden tweeted. “Needless violence won’t heal us. We need to end the violence – and peacefully come together to demand justice.”